Q:

What is the lithosphere made of?

A:

Quick Answer

The lithosphere comprises the crust and the upper section of the mantle. It forms the rigid exterior of the Earth, which is composed of the crust, mantle and core.

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Full Answer

The lithosphere is fragmented into a series of massive tectonic plates. While continental plates range from around 93 to 124 miles in thickness, oceanic plates are much thinner and roughly only around 50 to 62 miles thick. These plates constantly move but at a very slow pace. The border that forms between two moving plates can be a transform, divergent or convergent boundary. The majority of geologic events, such as earthquake, volcanic eruptions and geothermal activities, occur along plate boundaries.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do the crust and upper mantle form?

    A:

    The crust and upper mantle of the Earth form the lithosphere. The lithosphere is about 62 miles thick. The part of the lithosphere that supports the continents is thicker than the part of the lithosphere that supports the oceans.

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  • Q:

    Where do convection currents flow in the Earth?

    A:

    Convection currents flow in the asthenosphere, immediately below the rocky outer lithosphere. Convection currents are one of three types of heat transfer, which involve the movement of energy from a warmer object to a cooler object.

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  • Q:

    How thick is the lithosphere?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    What are the elements in the lithosphere?

    A:

    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.

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