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EESA06H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Continental Crust, Oceanic Crust, Plate Tectonics

Environmental Science
Course Code
Nick Eyles
Study Guide

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->>>>>Earth systems:
-matter and energy flows between all the spheres
-atmosphere - envelope of gases around our planet
-solid earth (lithosphere or geosphere)
-biosphere - living and dead organic matter (NOT THE SAME AS ECOSPHERE)
-hydrosphere (and cryosphere which is the frozen part of the hydrosphere)
->>>> Lithosphere
-in the ecosphere, the only part we consider is the upper part/crust of the earth.
-a mixture of gases
-78% nitrogen
-21% oxygen
-1% other gases
-look at map of biosphere map in oceans in slides
-in the oceans, note that much of the chlorophyll is found around the poles and close to land,
the middle of the oceans aren't very active in plant growth
-the interaction of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere on which the biosphere
resides; the area of interaction.
->it is important to wrap your head around the impact of time on Earth's history
-humans have only been here for a very small amount of time.
-there is a a conflict between the technosphere and the other natural spheres of the earth.
->>>>Energy Sources
-external sources: mainly the sun, which drives the hydrologic cycle (circ. in the ocean) and
the circulation of the atmosphere and oceans; these flows then shape the lithosphere via
-internal energy: the energy that drives volcanoes and the deformation of the crust via
radioactive radiation decay in the mantle and the leftover heat from the formation of our planet,
fuels the movement of the earth plates
-One important example of the sphere's interacting is the one of the Saharan Dust storm that
travels over the pacific ocean and deposit nutrients in the ocean which life in the oceans use.
(hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere and the biosphere are all interacting)
->>>> Two ways to classify what's inside the earth:
->Layers by Composition (recipe)
-Crust: very thin; two different kinds, continental crust and oceanic crust (Silica Rich, light)
-Mantle (Olivine rich)
-Core (Iron Core, rich in iron and magnesium, heavy)
->Layers by Physical Properties (behaviour)
-Lithosphere (solid, rigid) (NOT THE SAME AS CRUST, Lithosphere includes the crust and the
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