Q:

How many layers does the Earth have?

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Quick Answer

The Earth consists of four layers: crust, mantle, outer core and inner core. Each layer has its own properties and characteristics that separates it from the other layers.

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How many layers does the Earth have?
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Full Answer

The crust, also known as the lithosphere, is the top layer and is made up of rock material. It is the thinnest layer, making up only 1 percent of the Earth. The mantle is below the crust and is the largest layer of the Earth. It is 1,802 miles long and makes up 80 percent of the planet. Below the mantle is the outer core, a ball of very hot metals. Finally, the inner core, which has very hot temperatures ranging from 9,000 to 13,000 F, is mostly solid iron.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the center of the earth called?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    How thick is Earth's inner core?

    A:

    Seismological studies have measured the Earth's inner core at approximately 760 miles in diameter. The presence of the solid nickel-iron alloy inner core was extrapolated in 1936 by Inge Lehmann from reflections of seismic waves off the boundary area between the outer and inner cores, known as the Lehmann discontinuity.

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  • Q:

    Why is the inner core of the Earth solid?

    A:

    The immense pressure from the other parts of the planet keep the extremely hot iron of the Earth's inner core from melting. The iron in the inner core maintains a temperature of around 9,000 to 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • Q:

    How do we know the Earth has a liquid core?

    A:

    The biggest reason scientists theorize that the Earth has a liquid outer core and a solid iron inner core is that shear seismic waves, which cannot move through liquid, disappear when they hit the outer core only to reappear in the inner core. By measuring how both shear and pressure seismic waves travel through the core, scientists are not only able to determine the makeup up the inner and outer cores, but also their respective sizes.

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