Q:

What is the Earth's mantle made of?

A:

Quick Answer

The Earth's mantle is made primarily of solid rock. All of this rock is comprised of a variety of oxides. Their atomic elements include oxygen, silicon and magnesium.

Know More

Full Answer

The Earth's mantle also contains aluminum, calcium, iron, potassium and sodium. Some of the rocks created include garnets and pyroxenes. In addition, olivine and spinel are formed. The two most readily available elemental bonds that can be found are Si02 and MgO.

The Earth's mantle has four layers: the lithosphere, asthenosphere, upper mantle and lower mantle. The lithosphere is the outermost level of the upper mantle. This layer's name often includes reference to the Earth's crust, though the lithosphere has different features like temperature.

The next layer, the asthenosphere, is the portion on which different lithosphere plates float This is the layer that is responsible for the tectonic plate shifting that causes earthquakes and volcanoes. This slow movement also creates mountain formations as a result of continental drift.

Underneath the asthenosphere, the upper mantle is a layer that is more solid. This layer rests above the lower mantle, which is directly above the core. The lower mantle is the hottest and most dense of all the layers that comprise the Earth's mantle.

Learn more about Layers of the Earth

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some interesting facts about the Earth's mantle?

    A:

    The mantle is the largest of the geological layers that make up the Earth. It is found beneath the crust and is about 1,800 miles thick. Surrounding the core, the mantle makes up about 84 percent of the volume of the Earth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the source of heat in Earth's mantle?

    A:

    The heat that is present in Earth's mantle is made up of leftover heat from when the planet was formed, latent heat from the Earth's inner core and heat produced by the decay of radioactive isotopes. The majority of the heat is caused by the decay of isotopes such as potassium 40 and uranium 238.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How thick is the Earth's mantle?

    A:

    The Earth's mantle is 2,900 kilometers (1,802 miles) thick. The mantle lies between the core and the outer crust layer and consists of four layers: lithosphere, asthenosphere, upper mantle and lower mantle.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the asthenosphere?

    A:

    The asthenosphere is a layer of the Earth's interior that includes part of the lower crust and part of the mantle. The upper boundary of the asthenosphere is roughly 50 miles below the ground's surface. Its lower boundary, however, is inconsistent and depends primarily on temperature. Experts at the United States Geological Survey estimate its average thickness as 112 miles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore