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GEG 120
Peter Muller

Introduction to the lithosphere -Concern of earth science, dominated by geology- study of the origin, history, and structure of the earth, mainly below the surface -Branch of physical geography geomorphology- study of the configuration shape or form of the landforms of the earth's surface and their evolution -General background covered today -Structure of Earth's internal layers -general characteristics of the crust outer layer -the three major rock types and their interactions -formation of landforms (our main task for the rest of the course) 1. Individual landform a single unit entity: hill valley plateau 2. Aggregate (landscapes)- mountainous landscape a whole bunch of mountain or a full ridge of them lithosphere the solid earth it is everything on the surface, because oceans occupy the majority the 1/4 remaining is left structuring of earth's internal layers: diagram in the book - seismic waves 8000 miles between us and the antipode in the 4000 in between you reach the earth core. based upon these studies we realized earth consisted of five different concentric cells a. solid inner core b. liquid outer core c. solid lower mantle d. partially molten upper mantle e. crust thickness of crust is less than that of shell on an egg compared to the rest of layers length of core to crust 4000 miles straight line distance from anchorage to miami (inner core, outer core, lower mantle, upper mantle, asthenosphere, lithosphere which contains continental crust THE TWO OUTERMOST LAYERS Upper Mantle -interacts with overlying crust -Partially molten: viscous (like thick syrup) -topmost zone is solid, but contains pockets of molten rock that can reach the surface as lava -the solid uppermost mantle + crust= lithosphere (bonded together) Crust -Thinnest layer analogous to eggshell -Closer look Moho (Mohorovicic Discontinuity) -Density discontinuity marks crust-mantle boundary -Allows for crust thickness measurement thicker beneath continents ("roots") avgs 25 mi much thinner below oceanic crust avgs 5 mi Continental Crust -Low density- lighter colored- sialic (Si&Al)- Granite Oceanic crust -High Density - darke-colored- simatic (Si&Mg) -- Basalt Rock cycle : melt, reform, build, etc. THE LITHOSPHERE -Consists of the bonded crust/solid uppermost mantle -underlain by hot, oft, partially-molten asthenosphere about twice as deep below continents 50 vs. 25 mi in constant motion: lithosphere can "float" on it Contact zone: gradual transition not sharp break like the Moho Big Picture: lithosphere subdivivded into plates huge slabs that move in response to plastic flow in the asthenosphere also known as tectonic plates - cornerstone earth science theory THE CRUSTAL SURFACE -Massive tectonic for
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