Layers of the Earth

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The soft layer of the mantle on which the sections of crust move.


the innermost layer or center of the Earth.


The outermost layer or surface of the Earth.

Inner Core

The innermost layer of the core made of hot, dense, solid metals.


the outer most layer of the mantle, including the crust.


minerals in the form of hot liquid rock; found in the mantle


the layer of iron-rich minerals surrounding the core.

Outer Core

The outermost layer of the core made mainly of liquid iron and nickel.

Continental Crust

the thick section of the Earth's Crust below the continents.

Oceanic Crust

The thin section of the Earth's crust that makes up the ocean floors.

Continental Drift

Alfred Wegener's theory that the Earth's crust is divided into sections that move; he called the sections plates.


Greek word meaning "all Earth" or "all land"; a large supercontinent that Alfred Wegener said existed hundreds of millions of years ago.

Seafloor Spreading

The process of forming new oceanic crusts.

Tectonic Plate

A large section of Earth's crust.

Convection Currents

the heating and cooling cycle of magma in the mantle's asthenosphere.

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Extinct Volcano

A volcano that is not active and will not become active again.

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Shield Volcano

A large gently sloping mountain that forms from from many nonexplosive eruptions.

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A cone shaped mountain that forms around a vent where magma is forced to the surface.

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An opening in the Earth's crust that channels magma to the surface

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An opening in the Earth's Crust that channels magma to the surface.

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The shaking of rock in the Earth's crust.

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The place directly above an earthquake's focus on the Earth's surface.

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The exact point where an earthquake begins.

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The first set of waves that travels quickly through the interior of the Earth after an earthquake

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Richter Scale

The scale that Charles Richter developed to measure and gauge an earthquake's strength

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Seismic Waves

Waves of energy that move away from an earthquake through the Earth in all directions

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A special instrument used to measure seismic waves generated by earthquakes

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A scientist who studies earthquakes.

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Surface Waves

The third set of waves that moves in a circular pattern through the Earth's surface after an earthquake.

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The second set of waves that travels more slowly through the Earth after an earthquake, cutting through the rock in the Earth's surface as they move.

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A large, forceful wave triggered by ocean floor earthquakes.

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