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Layers of the Earth
Transcript of Layers of the Earth
The geosphere is an important part of the Earth as a whole. All the Earth spheres are connected. The geosphere creates Earths magnetic field, helping protect the biosphere, which intern creates the atmosphere, which shapes the movement of the hydrosphere and the erosion of the geosphere. Both the cryosphere and the hydrosphere also erode and shape the outermost geosphere. But the geosphere is more than rocks on the surface. It extends deep underground, where we're going next.
Also known as the crust, the lithosphere is the solid, rigid rock you are standing on now. There are two types of crust:
Oceanic: mostly thinner rock, it is consistently a thickness of about 5 kilometers.
Continental: thicker rock, ranging anywhere from 30 to 100 kilometers.
The crust is relatively cool, at less than 1300 degrees Celsius. It is high in oxygen levels as well. Finally, it is divided up into plates much like a jigsaw puzzle. This creates fault lines and Earthquakes on the surface, affecting the biosphere.
This is the upper portion of the mantle. The temperature ranges from 1300 degrees Celsius to 2500 degrees Celcius. It is plastic, meaning that it is composed of rock that acts like a liquid because of its high temperatures and pressures. This layer of rock creates magma, known as lava if it breakes through the crust. Other Earth spheres, such as the hydrosphere are affected by this, since cooled magma can create landmasses, such as Hawaii, that obstruct ocean currents, and can change them.
The lower mantle is also plastic, although it is much hotter. Temperatures here are around 2500 degrees Celsius. It is about 2250 kilometers thick, making it the largest sections of Earth.
The outer core is made up primarily of iron, most of which is completely liquid. It is about 2200 kilometers thick, and temperatures can range to almost 4500 degrees Celsius. Since the core is made up of Iron, it helps to create Earths magnetic field, which not only protects the Biosphere from harmful radiation in space, but also helps to create the Atmosphere which protects us.
The Inner Core is about 1250 kilometers in diameter, and ranges to temperatures of 5000 degrees Celsius. Surprisingly, the Inner Core is actually solid Iron, and current evidence suggests it spins faster than the rest of Earth, shedding light on how the Earths magnetic field may actually have formed.
In conclusion, the layers of the Earth are important to the existence of life on this planet. The crust and lithosphere plates help to shape the hydrosphere and cryosphere by changing the shape of the landmasses. The mantle recycles rock by heating it up, creating new landmasses and destroying old ones, therefore affecting the biosphere and its habitat, along with the hydrosphere and its currents. Finally the core helps to protect our atmosphere by blocking harmful radiation from space. All the Earth spheres are interconnected, and without them, we could not exist.
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"The Geosphere: Layers of the Earth." Florida Virtual School. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Dec. 2014.