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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Earth as a System.docx

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Department
Biology
Course
BIO211H5
Professor
Michaelde Braga
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 1 Earth as a System Origin of the Solar System: - Age of the universe: Big Bang ~15 billion years ago - Planets formed near time of sun’s formation - Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old - Outer planets composed of volatile elements - Inner planets are rocky Earth is Special: - Distance from the sun and the size of the sun itself produce temperatures at Earth’s surface that allow complex carbon compounds to survive and enter into chemical reactions - Has a large mass which allows life-supporting fluids through gravitational attraction - Small enough that gravity does not attract meteorites (unlike Jupiter) Moon: - Moon formed from impact of a protoplanet with Earth Earth’s Structure: - Seismic waves: large vibrations that travel through Earth as a consequence if natural earthquakes or artificial disturbances such as nuclear explosions - Focus: place within Earth where rocks move against other rocks along a fault and produce seismic waves - Fault: surface along which rocks have broken and moved Core: Earth’s center. - Solid spherical inner portion and liquid outer portion consist of iron Mantle: thick envelope around the outer core - Complex body of less dense rocky material - Constitutes most of Earth’s volume Crust: Consists of still less dense rocky material Moho Discontinuity: Passage of seismic waves from the rocks of the crust to the denser rocks of the mantle - Allows upper and lower lithosphere to slide past each other (friction is what cause earthquakes) - Because continental crust is thicker than oceanic crust, the Moho dips downward beneath the continents Lithosphere: rigid layer formed by the attachment of the crust and upper mantle (least dense) Asthenosphere (aka low-velocity zone): - Seismic waves slow down as they pass through it - Composed of partially molten rocks – slush-like material consisting of solid particles with liquid occupying the spaces in between - Mobility of this layer lets the lithosphere to move over it Plate Tectonics: mov
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