Inside Earth

Earth's Interior

The internal structure of the Earth is made of many layers.

  • The upper most layer of the Earth is called Crust, the surface on which we stand and move around.

  • Below the crust, lies a very hot layer of which is semi-solid in nature called Mantle.

  • Beneath the mantle lies the Core. Core is divided into two parts - Inner Core and Outer Core.

Crust

Crust is like a shell-covering around the Earth. It is hard, highly uneven and is made up of different kinds of rocks. Crust and upper mantle together forms the lithosphere layer of the Earth. Lithosphere layer is broken into multiple tectonic plates that move, and cause seismic and even volcanic activities. Movement in tectonic plates is cause of Earthquakes and tremors.

The temperature of the crust increases with depth because of geothermal energy - a form of heat energy created by Earth's interior, however it is still the coldest among all interior layers of Earth.

Divisions of Crust

Continental Crust - Layer of crust which is composed of granules, rocks, pebbles and different rock structures which forms the continents. Thickness of the continental crust hop between 30 to 50 KM, but is relatively less dense than the Oceanic crust.

Oceanic Crust - Layer of crust just below the continental crust is Oceanic crust. It is about 5 to 10 KM thick, however is relatively denser than the continental crust. It is basically the part of crust that is under the ocean basins. The continental crust is separated from the oceanic crust by the continental margin.

Mantle

Mantle is a ~ 3000 KM very thick semi-liquid shell of Earth below the Earth's crust. Mantle is 84% of the Earth's total volume, relative to 15% of Earth's core and just 1% of Earth's crust.


Athenosphere

Yeah, so may be this one is new for you. You may have never heard of it at all, unless you are a geology student.

It is the layer that sits just below the lithosphere and is part of upper mantle. This is kind of a placticky in nature and have fluid-like properties. Athenosphere acts like a lubricant layer for the movement of tectonic plates that sits above it. It is about ~ 200 KM thick.

Core

It is the innermost layer of the Earth's interior at the center of the Earth. The temperature of the core ranges between 4400 °C and 6100 °C near the inner core. This is part of Earth is composed of Iron and Nickle, which is responsible for Earth's magnetic field, along with Coriolis effect - a force seen in rotating objects like hurricanes, tornadoes etc

Divisions of Core

Outer Core: The outer core of the Earth is a liquid layer about 2,260 KM thick. It is primarily made of Iron and Nickle. It is the layer above Inner core and below the mantle.

Inner Core: Inner core a hard solid sphere at the center of Earth. It is about 1200 KM in radius. It is believed to be composed of iron–nickel alloy. The temperate of Inner core might reach as high as 5500 °C, almost as same as temperature of Sun's surface.

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Curated by: Aakash Gautam