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Cross Section of Planet Earth

Cross Section of Planet Earth Visual Arts Disasters Geography STEM

This image depicts the various layers of our planet, Earth.  The Southern California Earthquake Center tell us more about it:

  • Geophysical studies have revealed that the Earth has several distinct layers. Each of these layers has its own properties.
  • The outermost layer of the Earth is the crust. This comprises the continents and ocean basins. The crust has a variable thickness, being 35-70 km thick in the continents and 5-10 km thick in the ocean basins. The crust is composed mainly of alumino-silicates.
  • The next layer is the mantle, which is composed mainly of ferro-magnesium silicates. It is about 2900 km thick, and is separated into the upper and lower mantle. This is where most of the internal heat of the Earth is located. Large convective cells in the mantle circulate heat and may drive plate tectonic processes.
  • The last layer is the core, which is separated into the liquid outer core and the solid inner core. The outer core is 2300 km thick and the inner core is 1200 km thick. The outer core is composed mainly of a nickel-iron alloy, while the inner core is almost entirely composed of iron. Earth's magnetic field is believed to be controlled by the liquid outer core.

To learn more about how all of these layers work together, visit the Earthquake Center's website.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Southern California Earthquake Center.

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"Cross Section of Planet Earth" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Dec 16, 2017.
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