This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
◊ 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 (rocks): down to 660 km depth (rocks): from 660 km to 2890 km depth
• • • •
Upper mantle Lower mantle
Outer core (molten metal): from 2890 to 5150 km depth
• Inner core
(solid metal): from 5159 km to the center of the earth
The composition of the core and mantle are thought to be >99% of mass of Earth.
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 composed of 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 than that of the crustal rocks that we can observe, hence, something very dense (such as metals) must be down there. (ii) Moment of inertia The moment of inertia of the earth is significantly smaller than that for a uniform sphere indicating that the Earth is not a uniform sphere with a density of 5.5 g/cc everywhere except for very close to the surface. (iii) Meteorites. iv) Seismic studies. Seismic studies pinned down the depth of different layers of the Earth and helped constrain the composition of the layers. Seismic velocity discontinuities owing to large differences in material properties (owing to either compositional differences or differences in phase) are interpreted as different layers of the Earth.
Seismic Waves Seismic waves are the waves of energy caused by the sudden breaking of rock within the earth or an explosion. They are the energy that travels through the earth and is recorded on seismographs. The two main types of waves are body waves and surface waves.
Body waves can travel through the earth's inner layers • Surface waves can only move along the surface of the planet like ripples on water. Earthquakes radiate seismic energy as both body and surface waves. Body Waves The first kind of body wave is the P wave or primary wave The second type of body wave is the S wave or secondary wave
http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content /visualizations/es1009/es1009page01.cfm? chapter_no=visualization
Velocity and density variations within Earth based on seismic observations. The main regions of Earth and important boundaries are labeled. This model was developed in the early 1980's and is called PREM for Preliminary Earth Reference Model.
Earth Structure I: seismic evidence
• From velocity structure, density structure, and existence of refracted, reflected, and converted phases at various source-receiver distances, we know the earth has a core, a mantle, and a crust. We know the depths of the boundaries. We know the outer core is liquid, the other regions are solid.
Meteorites are bits of the solar system that have fallen to the Earth. Importance of meteorites Meteorites are our only material evidence of the universe beyond the Earth. They are • surviving remnants of fragmented planetesimals: means of ascertaining the nature of planetary interiors • undergone no change since their formation • clues to the composition of the solar system: estimate the cosmic abundance of elements Terms Meteor: the luminous trail caused by a glowing meteoroid or glowing fragments Meteoroids: extraterrestrial material (range from cosmic dusts to asteroids) that enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Meteorites: meteoroids that reach the Earth’s surface Craters: produced by large iron meteoroid impact and explosion Recovery of meteorites Falls: Meteorites that have been seen to fall and subsequently recovered Falls give true proportions of each class of meteorites Finds: Meteorites that are not seen to fall but are recognized as meteorites Most finds are iron meteorites because these can be identified easily and with confidence.
Classification of Meteorites
There are three main categories depending on their dominant composition. Stones Stones are similar to common terrestrial rocks in that their mineral composition is dominated by silicates, by far the most prevalent rock-forming minerals on our planet. Stones are subdivided into two classes: Chondrites Chondrites get their name from the fact that they all (with some exceptions) contain chondrules, tiny mineral spherules made mostly of silicates. Achondrites Achondrites lack chondrules Irons Irons are mostly metallic in composition; they consist of alloys of iron (Fe) and nickel (Ni), in varying proportions. Stony-irons Stony-irons are combinations of both; they contain silicate and metallic phases in approximately equal amounts.
Meteorite Types Iron Primarily iron and nickel
Stony Iron Mixtures of iron and stony material
Chondrite By far the largest number of meteorites fall into this class; similar in composition to the mantles and crusts of the terrestrial planets Achondrite Similar to terrestrial basalts; the meteorites believed to have originated on the Moon and Mars are achondrites
Evidence from meteorites
Their nature provides evidence concerning nucleosynthesis So The presence of three distinct types of meteorites – stones, stony irons and irons – inevitably led people to believe that meteorites originated from some planetary body which had fractionated into a metal-rich core with a silicate envelope. They also provide evidence regarding the 1. Formation age of the solar system: About 4.56 Ga 2. Elemental and nuclide abundance in the solar system 3. Origin and early evolution of the solar system and the planets, the possible triggering event for the collapse of the solar nebula and formation of the solar system 4. The evolution of the parent body of meteorites, asteroids, Mars (5. Rocks do fall from the sky)
◊Distribution of the Elements in the Earth
Composition of the different layers Layer CORE (0-3483 km). Composition Total mass of the metal core is about 32% of the Earth’s mass. The core is made of siderophile elements, and depleted in lithophile and volatile elements. Inner core (0-1220 km). Made of Fe-Ni solid metal plus some minor amount unknown elements. Outer core (1220-3483 km). Made of Fe-Ni molten metal plus a substantial amount (5-10%) of unknown light elements (O, Si, C, S, H, etc.)
MANTLE (~3650 - ~6350 km) Lower mantle (~3650 - 5710 km) Made of silicate and oxide minerals (One estimation: 80% MgSiO3 perovskite, 15% oxides (Mg,Fe)O, and 5% CaSiO3 perovskite). Upper mantle (5710 - ~6350km.) Made of peridotite (a rock made of 70% olivine, 25% pyroxenes and 5% other phases). Crust (5 to 70 km thick) Oceanic crust is different from the continental crust in both thickness and composition. Oceanic crust is thin (6 km) and is made of basalt. Continental crust is thick (30-70 km) and is made of granite, andesite and basalt (also sedimentary rock cover). The continental crust is highly complex. Composition of the crustal rocks can be directly determined. Oceans Atmosphere Not a continuous layer (covers 2/3 of the earth’s surface). The atmosphere gradually thins into solar system background space.
Concentrations of elements in the bulk earth and each layer
Estimated bulk earth composition (Zindler and Hart, 1986) Component mass % Element mass% SiO2 31.5 Fe 32 Fe ~23.0 O 31 MgO 25.9 Mg 16 FeO ~11.8 Si 15 Al2O3 2.78 Ni 1.8 CaO 2.2 Ca 1.6 Ni 1.7 Al 1.5 Cr2 O3 0.32 Na2 O 0.23 Estimated composition of the earth’s core (Zindler and Hart, 1986) Outer core Component mass% Fe 89 Ni 5.4 Co 0.25 Others 5.35 Inner core Component Fe Ni Co mass% 93.8 5.6 0.26
Estimated composition of Earth’s mantle and crust Component SiO2 MgO FeO Al2O3 CaO Cr2O3 Na2O NiO TiO2 MnO K2O Mantle+crust 46 38 8.0 4.1 3.2 0.47 0.33 0.28 0.18 0.13 0.032 Oceanic crust 50 11 8.5 16 11 0.04 2.1 0.01 0.9 0.16 0.10 Continental crust 57.3 5.3 9.1 15.9 7.4 0.02 3.1 0.01 0.9 0.2 2.2
Dry atmosphere composition Component volume % N2 78.084 O2 20.948 Ar 0.934 CO2 0.035 Ne 0.00182 He 0.00052 CH4 0.00014 Kr 0.000114 N2O 0.00005
Ocean water composition Component mass % H2O 96.5 Cl1.89 + Na 1.05 SO420.26 Mg2+ 0.13 2+ Ca 0.040 K+ 0.037
H2 Xe O3
0.00005 0.0000087 0.000007
Average abundances in a very inhomogeneous Earth The estimates made for the distribution in the whole earth (the core, the mantle, the oceanic crust, the continental crust, the sea and the atmosphere) and the crust alone are as follows.
The different parts are estimated to have the following values (all analyses in weight %).
Continent Crust O Si Al Fe Ca Mg Na K Ti Ni 45.50 26.80 8.40 7.06 5.30 3.20 2.30 0.90 0.50 0.00
Ocean Crust 44.00 23.27 8.21 7.86 9.00 4.62 1.94 0.25 0.85 0.00
Mantle 44.23 21.16 1.86 6.26 2.34 23.66 0.21 0.03 0.05 0.20
The elemental composition for the solid crust, including the hydrosphere and atmosphere, are as follows. The Earth’s Crust • Crust is very enriched in some elements (such as K) compared to the mantle. • The crust can be grossly subdivided into sediments, granite (upper crust) and basalt (lower crust). More detailed estimates of crust composition have a problem – lower crust poorly known. • Dominant element in crust is oxygen (c. 47% by weight), then silicon (c. 28% by weight). The crust is enriched in incompatible elements (elements which preferentially partition into a melt phase) suggests igneous differentiation. Relative abundances of elements in the Earth’s Crust
Oceans and Atmosphere • These are composed of originally liquid and gaseous material separated from the main mass of the Earth during its early history, subsequently altered by chemical weathering, biological activity, igneous eruptions, human activity. Both are homogeneous compared to bulk Earth or just crust. 1. • Seawater ~ Constant concentrations of main elements (Cl, Na, Mg, S, Ca, K). 2. Elements involved in biological activity (C, O, N, P) vary in concentration with depth because photosynthesis only occurs in top few metres of ocean. 3. Large variations in concentration of dissolved gases (N2, O2, CO2 etc). Only 15 elements present at > 1ppm, including H & O. • Residence time = the average time that one molecule of a particular compound (or one atom of a particular element) spends in the reservoir of interest. Combine with incoming and outgoing fluxes (mass transported /unit time) to identify major factors controlling ocean chemistry. 2 8 1. Oceanic residence times vary from 10 to 10 years, i.e. short c.f. age of Earth!!! 2. Atmosphere is similar reservoir with residence times < 1 day to > 1 m. y. 3. Molecules with short residence times (H2O, NH3, SO2, …) show variable concentration during recent Earth history; 4. Others (N2 ~ 78.1%, O2 ~ 20.95%) have had ~ constant concentration. • Early atmosphere very different (anaerobic or anoxic = no free oxygen / low oxygen concentration), predominantly NH3, H2, H2O, CH4, CO (not CO2). Major change in late Precambrian, when photosynthesis created lots of O2, this also strongly affected seawater composition.
References Brownlow, A.H., 1979, Geochemistry, Prentice Hall. Krauskopf, K.B. & Bird, D.K., 1995, Introduction to Geochemistry, WCB McGraw Hill Mason, B. and Moore, C.B., 1989, Prinsip-Prinsip Geokimia, DBP. The Evolution of the Universe - Scientific American, October 1994 The Earth's Elements - Scientific American, October 1994 The Evolution of the Earth - Scientifi c American, October 1994
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.