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Structure and Composition of the Earth

Structure and Composition of the Earth

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Published by: gengkapak on Dec 15, 2010
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12/02/2012

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LU 2 STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF THE EARTH
◊ Structure of the Earth
We think that the Earth is composed of core, mantle, crust,hydrosphere, atmosphere. The layers from outside in are:
Atmosphere(gas)
Hydrosphere
Crust(continental crust, oceanic crust): 5-70 km think
Upper mantle(rocks): down to 660 km depth
Lower mantle(rocks): from 660 km to 2890 km depth
Outer core(molten metal): from 2890 to 5150 km depth
Inner core(solid metal): from 5159 km to the center of theearth
The composition of the core and mantle are thought to be >99% of mass of Earth.
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The Evidence for the Structure of the Earth
We have only
indirect evidence
for the structure.From
various lines of evidence
we think that the Earth is composedof core, mantle, crust, hydrosphere and the atmosphere.Lines of evidence that the earth is layered include:
(i) Average density The average density
of the Earth (5.5 g/cc) is much
greater 
thanthat of the
crustal rocks
that we can observe, hence, somethingvery dense (such as metals) must be down there.
(ii) Moment of inertiaThe moment of inertia
of the earth is significantly
smaller
thanthat for a
uniform sphere
indicating that the Earth is not auniform sphere with a density of 5.5 g/cc everywhere except forvery close to the surface.
(iii) Meteorites.iv) Seismic studies.
Seismic studies pinned down the depth of different layers of theEarth and helped constrain the composition of the layers.
Seismic velocity discontinuities
owing to
large differences
inmaterial properties (owing to either compositional differences ordifferences in phase) are
interpreted as different layers
of theEarth.
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