Q:

What is the Earth's mantle made of?

A:

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.

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.


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