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The Layers of the Earth

Scientists who study the Earths layers are called geologists. The Earths Interior is divided into three main layers; the core, the mantle, and the crust. The Earth is kind of like a big peach, the core would represent the pit, the mantle would be the flesh, and the crust would be the skin. The Earths crust, where we live, is the solid outer-most layer of the Earth. There are two different types of crust: thin heavy oceanic crust that is under the oceans and thicker but lighter continental crust that is under the continents. These two different types of crust are made up of different types of rock. This is the coolest layer of earth. The crust is broken into different pieces called plates, which float on the mantle below. The movement in the mantle causes the pieces of the crust to move around and bump into each other. The thick of this layer varies from 5 km (under the oceans) to 70 km (under the highest elevations on land). Earth's Mantle is the middle layer of the Earth. Many people think of this as lava, but it's actually rock. The mantle is solid and made of silicon, iron, magnesium, and oxygen. Even though it is a solid, it has some properties like a liquid. The rock is so hot, that it flows like road tar. This creates very slow-moving currents as hot rock rises from the depths and cooler rock descends. Because this layer is partially melted, it can be flexible (like silly putty) but moves much more slowly than liquid. The mantle extends down 2,900 km from the bottom of the crust. Temperature decreases in the mantle as you move away from the core. This causes the hot gooey mantle to rise towards the crust, where it cools and falls back to the core. This movement is an example of convection. The mantle contains about 68% of the Earths mass. The Core is the inner most part of the Earth. Earth's core is composed mainly of iron and nickel metal. Scientists have assumed this based upon calculations of the cores density and upon the fact that many meteorites (which are thought to be portions of the interior of a planet) are iron and nickel. The core is divided into two different zones. The outer core is a liquid because the temperatures there are so high it melts the metal. This layer is 2,200 km thick. However, the inner core is a solid even though its temperature is higher than the outer core. Here, tremendous pressure, produced by the weight of the overlying rocks is strong enough to crowd the atoms tightly together and prevents the liquid state. Because of the cores hot temperatures, it is the Earths source of internal heat, which it radiates out to the next level, the mantle.


What is this layer made out of? Oxygen, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron This layer is ____7____km -_____35_____ km thick. What state of matter is this layer? (underlined and bold) Solid Liquid Gas Solid with liquid properties

The crust is the layer that we live on The two types of crust are thin but heavy oceanic crust and thick but light continental crust The crust is broken into pieces called plates that float on the mantle below.


What is this layer made of? Silicon, oxygen, aluminum, iron This layer is ______2,900_____km thick. In what state of matter is this layer? (underlined and bold) Solid Liquid Gas Solid with liquid properties

The rock in the mantle is so hot that it flows like silly putty Temperatures decrease as you move away from the core Convection happens in the mantle


What is this layer made of? Iron and nickel This layer is _______2,200_________km thick. In what state of matter is this layer? (underlined and bold) Solid Liquid Gas Solid with liquid properties

The outer core is liquid because its temperatures are hot enough to melt metal. The outer cores pressure is 2,000,000 atm The outer core is 15 % of the Earths volume


What is this layer made of? Iron and nickel This layer is _______1,270_________km thick. In what state of matter is this layer? (underlined and bold) Solid Liquid Gas Solid with liquid properties

The inner core is solid because of the tremendous pressure pushing on it The inner core is Earths internal heat source that radiates to all the other layers. This layer can get to be 7,200C!


Drifting Continents

In 1910, a young German scientist named Alfred Wegener Wegener hypothesized that all of the continents became curious about why the coasts of several continents had been joined together in a super continent called matched so well, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. He formed a Pangaea that has since broken apart. hypothesis that Earths continents had moved! Wegeners hypothesis was that all the continents had once been joined together in a single landmass and have since drifted apart. He named this supercontinent Pangaea, meaning all lands. According to Wegener, Pangaea existed about 300 million Pangaea existed 300 MYA years ago. Over tens of millions of years, Pangaea began to break apart. The pieces of Pangaea slowly moved toward their present- Continental drift- the continents are slowly moving day locations, becoming the continents of today. The idea that the over the Earths surface continents slowly moved over Earths surface became known as continental drift. Wegener gathered evidence from different scientific fields to support his ideas about continental drift. He studied land features, fossils, and evidence of climate change. Landforms, such as mountain ranges provided evidence for Landforms: continental drift. For example, Wegener noticed that when he Mountain Range in S. America and S. Africa line up pieced together maps of Africa and South America, a mountain range running from east to west in South Africa lines up with a Coal fields in Europe and N. America line up range in Argentina. Also, European coalfields match up with coalfields in North America. Fossils also provided evidence to support Wegeners theory. A Fossils: fossil is any trace of an ancient organism preserved in rock. The Fossils of the same organisms are found on widely fossils of the reptiles Mesosaurus and rhynchosaur and a fernlike separated landmasses plant called Glossopteris have been found on widely separated They could not have traveled the distance on their landmasses. This convinced Wegener that the continents had once been united, since these living organisms could not have traveled own. across the ocean by themselves. Climate Change: Wegener used evidence from climate change to further support his theory. For example, an island in the Arctic Ocean contains fossils of tropical plants. According to Wegener, the island once Fossils of tropical plants found in the Arctic Ocean must have been located close to the equator. Wegener also pointed to scratches on rocks made by glaciers. These scratches show that Scratches on rocks from glaciers found in tropical places with mild climates today once had climates cold enough for locations glaciers to form. According to Wegeners theory, Earths climate has not changed. Instead, the positions of the continents have changed. Wegener could not explain why the continents moved Wegener also tried to explain how the drift of continents took so no one believed him. Once there was new place. Unfortunately, Wegener could not provide a satisfactory explanation for the force that pushes or pulls the continents. evidence about the Earths structure, his theory was Because he could not identify the cause of continental drift, most finally accepted geologists rejected his theory. For nearly half a century, from the 1920s to the 1960s, most scientists paid little attention to the idea of continental drift. Then new evidence about Earths structure led scientists to reconsider Wegeners bold theory. Summary: Wegener thought that all of the continents had been joined together 300 MYA as a super continent called Pangaea. The theory that the continents move slowly is called continental drift. Wegener supported his theory with evidence from landforms, fossils, and climate change. Since he could not provide the reason for the continents movement, no one believed him.

Drifting Continents

6. What title did you choose for the reading? Why did you choose this title? Support your answer with evidence from the text. Your title should be related to Pangaea or Continental Drift. The title should be the main idea of the article. You should use examples from the text to support your answer. 7. What was Alfred Wegeners hypothesis? Wegeners hypothesis was that all of the continents had been jointed together in a single landmass, that has since drifted apart 8. Wegener named his supercontinent Pangaea meaning all lands. 9. What did Wegener think had happened to this supercontinent? Wegener thought that Pangaea broke up and became the continents of today. 10. Wegeners idea that the continents slowly moved over Earths surface became known as Continental Drift.

For each number on the map, state the type of plate boundary and what is happening to the plates at that number, use scientific vocabulary in your answer.
1. Hawaii: Hotspot- Part of the mantle with very high temperatures is rising through the Pacific Plate causing a chain of island volcanoes to form. 2. California: Transform- The American and Pacific plates are slipping past each other causing earthquakes. 3. Chile: Convergent- The Nazca plate is being subducted under the American plate causing volcanoes.

4. Mid-Atlantic(ocean) Ridge: Divergent- The African and American plates are pulling apart. Seafloor-spreading is happening here. 5. Sudan: Divergent- The African and Arabian plates are pulling apart creating a rift valley.

6. Nepal: Convergent- The Eurasian and Indian plates are colliding creating the Himalayan mountains.

Plate Tectonics Study Guide

_________Transform____________: The boundary where two plates slip past each other ________Convergent____________: The boundary where two plates collide ________Divergent_____________: The boundary where two plates move apart ________Hotspot_______________: Where part of the mantle breaks through the crust, not at a plate boundary _______Subduction_____________: Where one plate dives under another _______Seafloor-Spreading______: Where new crust is created below an ocean ___Mid-Atlantic (ocean) Ridge___: The longest chain of mountains in the world ________Plate Tectonics________: The theory that explains plate movement What causes the plates to move: Convection currents in the mantle What is the Ring of Fire and why does it occur where it does? The Ring of Fire is an arch of volcanoes and earthquakes. The Ring of Fire occurs around the Pacific ocean/Pacific plate. It occurs there because of subduction zones around the plate boundaries.

Igneous rock is any rock that forms from magma or lava that cools and hardens in or near a volcano. The name igneous comes from the Latin word ignis, meaning fire. Igneous rocks are classified according to their origin, texture, and mineral composition. Extrusive rock is igneous rock formed from lava that erupted onto Earths surface. Basalt is the most common extrusive rock. Igneous rock that formed when magma hardened beneath Earths surface is called intrusive rock. Granite is the most abundant intrusive rock in continental crust. The texture of an igneous rock depends on the size and shape of its mineral crystals. The only exceptions to this rule are the different types of volcanic glassigneous rock that lacks a crystal structure. Igneous rocks may be similar in mineral composition and yet have very different textures. Rapidly cooling lava forms fine-grained igneous rocks with small crystals. Slowly-cooling magma forms coarse-grained rock with large crystals. Intrusive rocks have larger crystals than extrusive rocks. Extrusive rocks have a fine-grained or glassy texture. Basalt, for example, is an extrusive rock whose crystals are too small to be seen without a microscope.