Since we people live top top the very surface that the Earth, we carry out not have tendency to think as well much about what is beneath the basements of ours homes and workplaces. The planet is nearly 8000 mile in diameter (almost 13,000 km), the street you would take trip if friend went directly through the earth to the specific opposite suggest on the globe. If friend traveled with the planet this way, you would pass through plenty of different layers, the temperature would acquire as hot as the surface ar of the sun, and you would see things no human being eyes have ever before seen before!


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Compositional Layers

The earth has different compositional and also mechanical layers. Compositional great are established by your components, while mechanical layers are identified by your physical properties.

You are watching: Compare earth's compositional layers with its structural layers

Information about the compositional layersLayerDefinitionDepthCrustMantleCore
The outermost solid great of a rocky planet or organic satellite. Chemically distinctive from the underlying mantle. 0-100km silicates
A layer of the earth (or any kind of planet big enough to support internal stratification) in between the crust and also the external core. That is chemically unique from the crust and the external core. The mantle is no liquid. That is, however, ductile, or plastic, which means that on really long time scales and also under push it deserve to flow. The mantle is mostly composed the aluminum and also silicates.100-2900km iron and magnesium silicates
The innermost great of the Earth. The earth has an outer core (liquid) and an inner main point (solid). They are not chemically distinct from every other, but they room chemically distinct from the mantle. The core is largely composed the nickel and also iron.2900-6370km metals

Mechanical Layers

The mechanical layers that the earth a differentiated by their strength or rigidity. This layers are not the same as the compositional layers of the Earth, such together the crust, mantle, and core, though occasionally the limits fall in the very same places.

Information about the mechanical layersLayerDefinitionDepthLithosphereAsthenosphereMesosphereOuter Core
The outermost and most rigid mechanical layer that the Earth. The lithosphere has the crust and also the optimal of the mantle. The average thickness is ~70km, but ranges widely: It have the right to be an extremely thin, just a couple of km thick under oceanic late or mid-ocean ridges, or really thick, 150+ km under continental crust, specifically mountain belts.0-100 km
The asthenosphere is underneath the lithosphere. It is about 100km thick, and also is a region of the mantle that flows relatively easily. Reminder: it is not liquid.100-350 km Soft plastic *note: The mantle is not liquid!
The mesosphere is beneath the asthenosphere. It incorporates the lower mantle, where product still flows yet at a lot slower price than the asthenosphere.350-2900km stubborn plastic
A layer of fluid iron and also nickel (and various other elements) in ~ the mesosphere. This is the just layer of the planet that is a true liquid, and the core-mantle border is the just boundary of earth’s layers that is both mechanical and compositional. Flow of the liquid outer core is responsible for Earth’s magnetic field.

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5100-6370 kilometres solid

You may be wondering exactly how it is that layers the the planet can be liquid, or ‘plastic’. When we describe this properties of the class of the Earth, it is vital to remember the the earth moves and also changes on very long time scales. Something that shows up to be solid on a brief time range can, in fact, it is in liquid. Glass is an instance of an ‘amorphous solid’ – a material that is neither fluid nor solid. Over long periods that time glass deserve to flow, developing (for example) windowpanes through thick bottoms and thin tops in old buildings. The mantle is choose this. When it is under stress for lengthy periods the time, it have the right to flow. Due to the very high temperatures and also pressures near the center of the Earth, the outer core is fluid iron and also nickel, if the inner core is solid. The activity of the liquid external core is what gives planet its magnetic field. Take it a look at exactly how temperature in the earth change with depth.


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The image over of the great of the planet is an extremely simplified. Much in the way that we have the right to use a stick number to stand for a person however lacks every one of the detail, a wealth of information is missing in order to highlight the basic distinctions between the class of the Earth. It’s important to remember the these systems are exceptionally complex. If she interested in learning an ext about the different layers of the Earth and also how we recognize where lock are, check out the United says Geological Survey website!