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The earth formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago from a nebular cloud of dust and gas that surrounded the sun. As the gas cooled, more solids formed.....

The solid earth

Earth's formation and structure

The earth formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago from a nebular cloud of dust and gas that surrounded the sun. As the gas cooled, more solids formed. The dusty material accreted to the nebular midplane where it formed progressively larger clumps. Eventually, bodies of several kilometers in diameter formed; these are known as planetesimals . The largest planetesimals grew fastest, at the expense of the smaller ones. This process continued until an earth-sized planet had formed.

Early in its formation, the earth must have been completely molten. The main source of heat at that time was probably the decay of naturally-occurring radioactive elements. As the earth cooled, density differences between the forming minerals caused the interior to become differentiated into three concentric zones: the crust, mantle and core. The crust extends downward from the surface to an average depth of 35 km where the mantle begins. The mantle extends down to a depth of 2900 km where the core begins. The core extends down to the center of the earth, a depth of about 6400 km from the surface.

The core makes up 16 percent of the volume of the earth and about 31 percent of the mass. It can be divided into two regions: a solid inner core and a liquid outer core. The inner core is probably mostly metallic iron alloyed with a small amount of nickel, as its density is somewhat greater than that of pure metallic iron. The outer core is similar in composition, but probably also contains small amounts of lighter elements, such as sulfur and oxygen, because its density is slightly less than that of pure metallic iron. The presence of the lighter elements depresses the freezing point and is probably responsible for the outer core's liquid state.

The mantle is the largest layer in the earth, making up about 82 percent of the volume and 68 percent of the mass of the earth. The mantle is dominated by magnesium and iron-rich (mafic) minerals. Heat from the core of the earth is transported to the crustal region by large-scale convection in the mantle. Near the top of the mantle is a region of partially melted rock called the asthenosphere . Numerous small-scale convection currents occur here as hot magma (i.e., molten rock) rises and cooler magma sinks due to differences in density.

The crust is the thinnest layer in the earth, making up only 1 percent of the mass and 2 percent of the volume. Relative to the rest of the earth, the crust is rich in elements such as silicon, aluminum, calcium, sodium and potassium. Crustal materials are very diverse, consisting of more than 2000 minerals. The less dense crust floats upon the mantle in two forms: the continental crust and the oceanic crust . The oceanic crust, which contains more mafic minerals is thinner and denser than the continental crust which contains minerals richer in silicon and aluminum. The thick continental crust has deep buoyant roots that help to support the higher elevations above. The crust contains the mineral resources and the fossil fuels used by humans.

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Ap environmental science. OpenStax CNX. Sep 25, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10548/1.2
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