Q:

How thick is the lithosphere?

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Quick Answer

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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Full Answer

The lithosphere includes the crust and the solid, uppermost mantle of the Earth. The rigid lithosphere floats on the non-rigid, warmer, partly liquid layer just beneath it, the asthenosphere. There, temperatures can reach 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit, rocks may flow and about 10 percent of the material is molten. Scientists believe the asthenosphere is in constant motion, causing earthquakes, volcanoes and continental drift.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the lithosphere made of?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    What is the lithosphere?

    A:

    The lithosphere on earth includes the rocky outer shell of the planet, the upper layer of mantle, and the crust. This layer, broken up into sections or tectonic plates, moves constantly and is responsible for the geological activity on earth. The lithosphere is about 60 miles deep in most places.

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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:

    What are global winds?

    A:

    Global winds are a system of wind patterns distributing warm air unevenly across Earth. If Earth did not rotate, winds would move from the equator to their respective poles. Because Earth rotates, winds appear to be moving east in the Coriolis effect.

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