Describe the internal structure and composition of the earthJan 2013 Dec 2013

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Describe the internal structure and composition of the earth.(Jan-2013) (Dec-2013)?

Describe the internal structure and composition of the earth.
(Jan-2013) (Dec-2013)


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It is the solid part of the earth and in a broader sense includes all the solid materials

composing the earth from surface downwards, although sometimes-specific terms are
used for deeper earth zones. Recent detailed seismic studies of the body of the earth have
shown that it is composed of three well-defined shells, Crust, Mantle, Core.

The Crust: - Is the topmost shell of the earth, which has a thickness of 30-40 km in the
continents and 5-6 km in the oceans. There is a striking variation in the materials or
rocks, as they are called, composing the crust over the continents and ocean floors. The
oceanic crust is made up of heavier and darker rocks called basalts compared to light-
colored and light-density, granitic rocks of the continental crust. When considered as a
part of the total structure of the earth, crust makes only an insignificant part represented
by a thin layer, similar to the skin of an apple. As regards he chemical composition of
the crust, analyses made by Clarke and Gold Schmith, using rocks from different
geographic regions of the crust have all shown that when expressed in terms of oxides,
the crust has Silica as the most dominant component, its value lying above 50% by
volume in the oceanic crust and above 62% in the continental crust. Alumina is the next
important oxide, varying between 13-16% followed by Iron Oxides (8%), Lime (6%),
Sodium (4%), Magnesium (4%), Potassium (2.5%) & Titanium (2%). The crust itself
shows a complicated structure both in make-up and compositional variations.
The Mantle: - At the base of the crust materials of the earth become greatly different in
many properties from those overlying them in the crust. These materials appear to form nearly homogeneous zone till a depth of 2900 km is reached. This zone of materials lying
between crust and a depth of 2900 km is known a MANTLE. It is made up of extremely
basic materials, called ultra basic rocks, which are believed to be very rich in iron and
magnesium but quite poor in silica. Such rock names as Periodotites, Dunite. This One
is characterized with a high density, increasing steadily with depth further; the mantle
material is believed to be highly plastic in nature. Many of the most important geological
process such as earthquakes and formation of mountains are believed to have their origin in this zone.

The Core: - It is the third and the innermost structure shell of the earth, which is clearly
marked by the seismic evidence. It starts at a depth of 2900 km below the surface and
extends right up to the center of the earth at 6370 km. The material making g the core is
found to be from seismic studies only strikingly different from that making the other two
shells in one major aspect, in elastic properties. The material has no shear resistance,
which makes it nearer to liquid than to a solid body. It has a very high density, above
10gms/cubic centimeter, at the mantle –core boundary. Nothing can be said about the
composition of the core. According to one, widely favored view, the core is made up of
Iron and Nickel.


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