The lithosphere is the very top layer of the Earth's crust, while the asthenosphere is the semi-fluid layer just beneath it. The asthenosphere is found between 50 to a few hundred miles below the lithosphere.Continue Reading
The lithosphere is separated into the continental or oceanic crusts and the uppermost layer of the mantle. The crust and the upper mantle are separated by what is called the Mohorovicic discontinuity.
Scientists believe that the oceanic crust is between 31 and 87 miles thick, while the continental crust is between 25 and 174 miles thick. They determine this by noting the depths at which olivine, a silicate mineral, starts to become viscous.
The state of the rocky material in the asthenosphere is similar. Though it is still solid, it is able to flow due to great heat and pressure. Because of this, blocks of the rigid lithosphere "float" on top of the asthenosphere.
Moreover, the oceanic crust is much younger than the continental crust and is made largely of basaltic rock. The continental crust is older and has a greater variety of rock types. This is because the continental crust is less dense than the oceanic crust and the rocks don't sink and rise within the Earth as readily.Learn more about Atmosphere
The lithosphere, or the solid, outer part of Earth, is about 44 to 62 miles thick. It is 3,958 miles to the center of the Earth. Flowing rocks and molten minerals are a relatively short distance below the surface of oceans and landmasses.Full Answer >
The eight commonly occurring elements that are found in Earth's lithosphere include oxygen, silicon, calcium, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, potassium and iron. The crust, which forms part of the lithosphere, contains around 80 chemical elements that are present in varying amounts in approximately 2,000 minerals and compounds.Full Answer >
The temperature of the asthenosphere begins at a little over 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit but does not rise above 6,700 degrees F. It lies beneath the lithosphere or crust of the earth and the more rigid part of the upper mantle.Full Answer >
The biosphere is defined as the layer of land, water and air towards the outer surface of the Earth in which living things are capable of surviving. It includes both the living things found on Earth and the non-living elements that support them. The non-living part of the biosphere is divided into three subdivisions, the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.Full Answer >