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Earth's Layers (#4)
GEOL 100 Midterm 1
Terms in this set (13)
The Earth has how many distinct layers?
The thin, most outer layer - Two types:
Continental- mainly granite rock (light in color & weight)
Oceanic - basalt rock (dark, denser than granite)
Which crust layer is thicker?
From the base of the of crust to 2900 km deep
Dark rock (peridotite), denser than basalt
Inner layer of iron/ nickel metal alloy (mostly iron), from 2900 km deep to center of the Earth (6370 km).
Inner part = liquid
Outer part = solid
What is the source of Earth's magnetic field?
The circulation in the liquid part of the core
What was Earth initially like?
Solid Earth was a homogenous mixture of hot rock and metal.
Heat from meteorite collisions, pressure and radioactive decay
Radio active decay
Large atoms split into smaller atoms, producing heat
What was the first stage in the formation of Earth's layers?
After 10 to 20 million years, Earth was so hot that it melted, allowing heavy iron to sink to Earth's center, represents segregation between metallic core and rocky outer layer
What was the second stage in the formation of Earth's layers?
Formation of the crust (segregation of lighter crust from mantle) was very gradual and through several mechanisms.
Began ~4 bya, and grew to current size
What formed more gradually, the core or the crust?
What part of the Earth is sampled most frequently?
The crust (the mantle is occasionally sampled, the core is never sampled)
How do we know how the layers formed?
Lab experiments @ high temperatures and pressure
Study of meteorites
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