The lithosphere is the solid, outer layer of the Earth, and it is around 100 kilometers thick. It consists of the brittle upper portion of the crust and mantle. It is divided into huge sections called tectonic plates, on which the continents sit.Know More
According to National Geographic, the movement of the lithospheric plates, called plate tectonics, is responsible for many geologic events on Earth. Earthquakes and volcanoes are created when plates move beneath each other or when two plates rub against one another. Scientists believe that the continents originated from a single landmass known as Pangaea. The lithosphere broke apart, resulting in the separation of Pangaea into different landmasses.
According to Encyclopedia World of Earth Science, the lithosphere extends from the Earth’s surface to a depth of approximately 70 to 100 kilometers. This relatively cool, rigid section “floats” on top of a warmer, partially melted and non-rigid material. The temperature reaches 1,000 degrees Celsius below the lithosphere, allowing rock material to flow when pressurized. Based on seismic evidence, there is also around 10 percent molten material at this depth.
The zone beneath the lithosphere is the asthenosphere. Windows to the Universe states that the asthenosphere is ductile, and it can be deformed and pushed. When it flows, it carries the lithosphere and continents above it.Learn more in Layers of the Earth
The separate sections the lithosphere are broken into are called tectonic plates. The shifting of tectonic plates can cause volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.Full Answer >
The continental crust is the outer layer of the Earth's surface, which consists of several types of rock. It is comprised of 15 tectonic plates that form the continents and their surrounding seabeds, which are called continental shelves.Full Answer >
The Earth is divided into four layers: crust, mantle, outer core and inner core. The crust is the only layer of Earth that hosts life, as the mantle, inner core and outer core are too hostile for organisms to exist.Full Answer >
The center of the Earth is called its inner core, which is solid and surrounded by the liquid outer core. The outer core is surrounded by the solid mantle layer, which moves in response to a temperature difference of at least 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit between it and the inner core.Full Answer >