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Earth’s Interior and Plate Tectonics CHAPTER 4
Earth’s Composition: Not just solid rock Distinct layers Each layer has certain physical properties
3 Main Layers ► Crust ► Mantle ► Core
Crust ►O►O►O►Outermost layer ►5►5►5►5 – 100 km thick ►T►T►T►Thinnest layer ►2►2►2►2 types of crust ►<►<►<►< 1% of Earth’s mass
Continental Crust ► Average thickness of 30 km ► Composition similar to granite
Oceanic Crust ►A►A►A►Average thickness from 5-8 km ►C►C►C►Composition similar to basalt
Oceanic crust is more dense than Continental crust
Mantle ►B►B►B►Between crust and core ►E►E►E►Extremely thick and 67% of Earth’s mass ►L►L►L►Large amounts of Iron and Magnesium
The Core ► 33% of Earth’s mass ► 2 separate layers
Outer Core ► Liquid layer
Inner Core ►S►S►S►Solid and dense ►A►A►A►About 6,378 km below the surface ►6►6►6►6,000 oCelcius (hotter than Sun’s surface)
Lithosphere ► Made of the Crust and Upper Mantle ► Rigid ► About 150 km thick
Asthenosphere ► Part of the mantle ► Made of rock (molten) ► Flows like putty (very viscous)
Lithosphere is broken into tectonic plates
Tectonic Plates ► Rigid, solid rock ► Move around on Asthenosphere ► Jigsaw puzzle
Some plates contain both continental and oceanic crust
How do we know what the Earth’s interior looks like?
Deepest hole drilled: ► 12.2 km into the earth ► Kola Pennisula, Russia 1984
Seismic Waves ►F►F►F►From earthquakes ►T►T►T►Travel through earth layers ►S►S►S►Speed depends on density of material
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