Layers of the Earth

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Molten rock is rock heated to a temperature that is sufficient to turn it into a thick liquid. Molten rock often is associated with lava from a volcano. Additionally, molten rock exists below the surface of the Earth.

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  • What is magnetism?

    Q: What is magnetism?

    A: Magnetism is a phenomenon of physical science that arises due to the forces between objects brought about by the motion of electrical charges within those objects. The motion of electric charges creates a magnetic field, which exerts a magnetic force on charged particles that move within that field. A magnetic field flows from one end of an object to the other, creating a dipole with positive and negative ends.
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  • What is the composition of the Earth's core?

    Q: What is the composition of the Earth's core?

    A: Earth's core has two parts, a solid iron inner core and a molten outer core, which is composed of a nickel-iron alloy. The outer core begins about 1,800 miles under the crust.
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  • What are some interesting facts about the outer core?

    Q: What are some interesting facts about the outer core?

    A: The outer core, one of the three layers of the Earth, is approximately 1,430 miles (2,300 kilometers) thick and between 7,200 and 9,000 F. According to National Geographic, the outer core is mostly composed of iron and nickel in a liquid alloy form.
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  • How many layers does the Earth have?

    Q: How many layers does the Earth have?

    A: The Earth consists of four layers: crust, mantle, outer core and inner core. Each layer has its own properties and characteristics that separates it from the other layers.
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  • What is the temperature in the center of the Earth?

    Q: What is the temperature in the center of the Earth?

    A: As of April 2013, scientists have recorded the temperature in the center of the Earth to be 6,000 degrees Celsius. This is 1,000 degrees hotter than the measurement previously recorded from an experiment run 20 years prior.
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  • How hot is the Earth's crust?

    Q: How hot is the Earth's crust?

    A: According to Universe Today, the temperature of the Earth's crust is the same as the outside temperature at any given location.For example, the crust in the region of Antarctica is cooler than the crust in warmer regions of the world, like South Africa.
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  • How did we discover the Earth's inner core?

    Q: How did we discover the Earth's inner core?

    A: Dr. Inge Lehmann discovered the makeup of the Earth's inner core by studying how an earthquake's waves bounced off the core. It was previously thought that the core was made of liquid, surrounded by solid mantle and a crust. Lehmann found that the Earth's center is made of a solid inner core surrounded by a liquid outer core.
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  • How can one identify the layers of the earth by their chemical composition?

    Q: How can one identify the layers of the earth by their chemical composition?

    A: Earth's solid mass is composed of iron, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, sulfur, nickel, calcium and aluminum. These materials, according to Learner.org, are spread unequally among the planet's three main shells: its core, its mantle and its crust (from deepest to outermost).
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  • How deep is the outer core of earth?

    Q: How deep is the outer core of earth?

    A: The outer core of the Earth begins about 1,800 miles below the Earth's surface and is between 1,370 and 1,430 miles thick. It is composed of liquid iron and nickel with some trace elements.
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  • What is the thinnest layer of the earth?

    Q: What is the thinnest layer of the earth?

    A: The crust, the outermost layer or surface layer, is the thinnest layer of Earth. In addition to being thin, the crust layer has the most variance when it comes to thickness. This diverse layer mostly ranges from 5km to 30km in thickness but can reach depths of 70km.
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  • What is molten rock?

    Q: What is molten rock?

    A: Molten rock is rock heated to a temperature that is sufficient to turn it into a thick liquid. Molten rock often is associated with lava from a volcano. Additionally, molten rock exists below the surface of the Earth.
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  • Q: What is the Earth's mantle made of?

    A: The Earth's mantle is made primarily of solid rock. All of this rock is comprised of a variety of oxides. Their atomic elements include oxygen, silicon and magnesium.
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  • Q: What is the asthenosphere made of?

    A: As part of the earth's upper mantle, the asthenosphere is thought to contain rock material made from peridotite, eclogite, olivine, spinel, garnet and pyroxene. The asthenosphere is about 50 to 124 miles beneath the earth's surface, and it is described as viscous, meaning it can move and flow, and plastic, meaning it responds to deformation.
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  • What are some facts about the lithosphere?

    Q: What are some facts about the lithosphere?

    A: The lithosphere is the solid, outer layer of the Earth, and it is around 100 kilometers thick. It consists of the brittle upper portion of the crust and mantle. It is divided into huge sections called tectonic plates, on which the continents sit.
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  • Q: What process occurs in the hot pliable mantle rock beneath the Earth's plates?

    A: The mantle rock beneath the earth's plates is extremely hot because of the radioactive iron core that bombards it with particles, as well as the gravitational pressure at that depth. The pressure is what keeps the mantle semi-solid, not allowing it to fully melt. As a result, the mantle is constantly in motion. Plate tectonics describes the effect the mantle's motion has on the topmost crust.
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  • Q: What is the inner core made of?

    A: The Earth's core consists primarily of hot and solid iron and nickel. It is the innermost layer of the Earth and has a temperature of up to 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
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  • Q: What is oceanic crust?

    A: Oceanic crust is the portion of the Earth's crust that is found underneath the ocean floor. This part of the Earth's crust has a thickness of approximately 4 miles and is generally made up of denser types of rocks, such as basalt.
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  • Q: What are the seven major lithospheric plates?

    A: The seven major lithospheric plates are the African plate, Antarctic plate, Eurasian plate, Indo-Australian plate, North American plate, South American plate and Pacific plate. These are also called Earth's tectonic plates, and there are actually more tectonic plates than just these seven, including several smaller microplates such as the Philippine plate in the Pacific Ocean. Some major earthquake-prone fault lines occur at the boundaries of these plates, such as the San Andreas Fault in California, which lies along the borders of the Pacific and North American plates.
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  • Q: What is mantle convection?

    A: Mantle conviction is the process in which heat is transferred from the Earth's core to its surface; heat is released from the core and rises, causing temperature fluctuation where the excess temperature from the hot magma is transferred to the colder areas above it and eventually to the Earth's surface. An everyday example of this process is boiling water; hot water from the bottom of the pot rises to transfer energy to the cooler water at the top, which sinks to the bottom.
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  • Q: What is the asthenosphere?

    A: The asthenosphere is a layer of the Earth's interior that includes part of the lower crust and part of the mantle. The upper boundary of the asthenosphere is roughly 50 miles below the ground's surface. Its lower boundary, however, is inconsistent and depends primarily on temperature. Experts at the United States Geological Survey estimate its average thickness as 112 miles.
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  • Q: What are original remains?

    A: Original remains are the unchanged fossilized remains of animals and plants. They can include things like animals trapped in ice and insects fossilized in a resin, such as amber.
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