Structure of the Earth

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1 Structure of the Earth Have you ever wondered how Earth is put together? Most people live their lives every day. They don t think about what is under their feet. Some people wonder about Earth. They think about Earth. They explore Earth. They are geologists. They study Earth. They study its structure. They have learned many things. crust mantle outer inner For Eggsample... Think of Earth as a hard-boiled egg. An egg has a shell. Earth has a crust. An egg has liquid under its shell. Earth has hot magma under its crust. The Earth is much bigger than an egg. It is 6,400 kilometers (4,000 miles) from its crust down to its center! We live on Earth s crust. The crust is the part of Earth that has cooled and hardened. There are seven continents on Earth. They are all a part of the crust. The ocean floor is also a part of the crust. Mountains rise up from the crust. An eggshell can get a crack. Our crust is cracked. Look at the edges of the continents. You might notice that they look like cracks on an eggshell. Earth also has other layers under the crust. The first layer is the mantle. Then comes the. There is an outer. Then there is an inner. These layers are made of magma, or molten rock. The heat there can go up to hundreds and thousands of degrees. 45

2 Recycling Crust Magma comes to the surface. It comes through cracks in Earth s crust. This makes new crust. Does that mean there is more crust now than in the past? That doesn t make sense. Geologists have worked hard to find out how it works. Earth oozes magma in one place. It makes new crust there. For this to happen it must destroy crust some other place. Geologists looked for that place. They found how it works. New crust is made in the Atlantic Ocean. It is destroyed in the Pacific. The Atlantic Ocean floor expands with new crust. The Pacific Ocean floor shrinks. Geologists found out how. The Pacific Ocean floor dives down. It goes into deep trenches. These are called subduction zones. The crust in the ocean floors shows how Earth recycles. Rocks are created. Later they are melted again. Proof of this comes from maps. The maps show where there have been earthquakes. They show where there are volcanoes. The maps show undersea ridges and subduction zones. Comprehension Question Name the layers of Earth. 46

3 Structure of the Earth Have you ever wondered how Earth is put together? Most people live their lives every day without thinking about the planet under their feet. Some people do. They wonder about Earth. They think about it. They explore it. These people are geologists. They study Earth and its structure. They have discovered many things. crust mantle outer inner For Eggsample... Think of Earth as a hard-boiled egg. An egg has a shell. Earth has a crust. An egg has liquid under its shell. Earth has hot magma under its crust. The Earth is much bigger than an egg. It is 6,400 kilometers (4,000 miles) from its crust down to its center! We live on Earth s crust. The crust is the part of Earth that has cooled and become hard. All of the continents of Earth are a part of the crust. The ocean floor is also a part of the crust. Mountains rise up from the crust. Just like an eggshell with a crack, our crust is cracked. Look at the edges of the continents. You might notice that they look like cracks on an eggshell. Earth also has other layers beneath the crust. The first layer is the mantle. Then come the outer and inner s. These layers are made of magma, or molten rock. Their temperatures range from hundreds to thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. 47

4 Recycling Crust Molten magma rises to the surface through cracks in Earth s crust. This makes new crust. Does that mean there is more crust on the surface of Earth now than in the past? That doesn t make sense. Geologists had a theory to explain what happens. Earth oozes magma in one place. It makes new crust there. It must destroy crust somewhere else. Sure enough, studies found how it works. New crust is made in the Atlantic Ocean, and is destroyed in the Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean floor expands with new crust. The Pacific Ocean floor shrinks. Geologists found out how. The Pacific Ocean floor dives down. It goes into deep trenches under continents. These trenches are called subduction zones. The crust in the ocean floors is an example of how Earth recycles. Rocks are created and later melted again. Proof of this comes from mapping earthquakes and volcanoes. Most of them are found near undersea ridges and subduction zones. Comprehension Question Describe the layers of Earth. 48

5 Structure of the Earth Have you ever wondered how Earth is put together? Most people live their lives every day without thinking about the planet under their feet. Some people do: they wonder about Earth; they investigate it, they theorize about it, and they explore it. These people are geologists, and they study the Earth and how it is structured. They have discovered a number of interesting things. crust mantle outer inner For Eggsample... Imagine Earth as a hard-boiled egg. An egg has a shell. Earth has a crust. An egg has liquid under its shell. Earth has hot magma under its crust. If Earth were an egg, it would be a 6,400-kilometer (4,000-mile) trip from its shell (the crust) down to its center! We live on Earth s crust. The crust is the part of Earth that has cooled and hardened. All of the continents of Earth are a part of the crust. The ocean floor is also a part of the crust. Mountains rise up from the crust. Just like an eggshell with a crack, our crust is cracked. If you look at the edges of the continents, you might notice that they look like cracks on an eggshell. Earth also has other layers beneath the crust. They are the mantle and the outer and inner s. These layers are made of magma, or molten rock, and their temperatures range from hundreds to thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. 49

6 Recycling Crust Molten magma rises to the surface through cracks in Earth s crust. This makes new crust. Does that mean there is more crust on the surface of Earth now than in the past? That doesn t make sense. Geologists had a theory to explain the phenomenon. If Earth oozed molten magma in one place, then it must reabsorb crust somewhere else. Sure enough, studies reveal that the Atlantic Ocean floor is expanding and the Pacific Ocean floor is shrinking. New crust is made in the Atlantic Ocean, and is destroyed in the Pacific. Geologists found that the Pacific Ocean floor dives down into deep trenches under continents. These trenches are called subduction zones. The expanding and shrinking ocean floors are an example of how Earth is really a recycler. Rocks are created and later recycled. Proof of recycling rocks comes from mapping earthquakes and volcanoes. Most of them are found near undersea ridges and subduction zones. Comprehension Question Describe how the layers of the Earth interact. 50

7 Structure of the Earth Have you ever wondered how Earth is put together? Most people live their lives every day without thinking about the planet under their feet. Some people do: they wonder about Earth; they investigate it, they theorize about it, and they explore it. These people are geologists, and they study Earth and how it is structured. They have discovered a number of interesting things. crust mantle outer inner For Eggsample... Imagine Earth as a hard-boiled egg: an egg has a shell and Earth has a crust; an egg has liquid under its shell and Earth has hot magma under its crust. If Earth were an egg, it would be a 6,400-kilometer (4,000-mile) trip from its shell (the crust) down to its center! We live on Earth s crust, the cooled and hardened outer shell of the planet. All of the continents of Earth are a part of the crust, and so is the ocean floor. Just like a cracked eggshell, Earth s crust is cracked into multiple pieces. If you look at the edges of the continents, you might notice that they look like cracks on an eggshell. Earth also has other layers beneath the crust. They are the mantle and the outer and inner s. These layers are made of magma, or molten rock, and their temperatures range from hundreds to thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. 51

8 Recycling Crust Molten magma rises to the surface through cracks in Earth s crust; when it cools, it creates new crust. That implies that there is more crust on Earth s surface today than there was millions of years ago. However, that couldn t be right, so geologists had a theory to explain the phenomenon. If Earth oozed molten magma in one place, then it must reabsorb crust somewhere else. Sure enough, studies reveal that the Atlantic Ocean floor is expanding and the Pacific Ocean floor is shrinking. New crust is made in the Atlantic Ocean, and is destroyed in the Pacific. Geologists found that the Pacific Ocean floor dives down into deep trenches under continents. These trenches are called subduction zones. The expanding and shrinking ocean floors are an example of how Earth is really a recycler. Rocks are created and later recycled. Proof of recycling rocks comes from mapping earthquakes and volcanoes. Most of them are found near undersea ridges and subduction zones. Comprehension Question Describe how material is recycled through the different layers of the Earth. 52

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