ENV100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Hydrosphere, Geosphere, Cryosphere

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Published on 28 Sep 2016
School of Environment
Earth’s Major Subsystems
Earth's functional components divided into several broad subsystems
The geosphere is the ground beneath our feet
Geosphere - rock and sediment of the solid Earth
oMore commonly used to refer to outermost solid layer of earth
oSometimes called lithosphere but not quite correct
Lithosphere – topmost portion of the mantle (asthenosphere) and the crust
oComposed of
Solid rock
Broken up rock
Product of weathering and erosion in rock cycle
oPhysical and chemical foundation for life
oSource for mineral nutrients and other materials that cycle through Earth system
The atmosphere is our planet’s gaseous envelope
Atmosphere - thin envelope of gases that surrounds planet
oIncludes some water droplets and dust particles
oChemical composition and properties have changed a lot since its formation
oOther planets have atmospheres
oBut composition of our atmosphere (mostly N2 and O2) is unique (as far as we know)
Air – specific collection of gases that makes up Earth's atmosphere
Other elements present in lower concentrations and can be crucial for life
oEx. CO2 for ghouse effect and photosynthesis
Surface and near-surface waters compose the hydrosphere
Hydrosphere - all of the water that resides in surface water bodies, glaciers and ground water
oAny state
oCryosphere – perennially frozen parts of hydrosphere
Subsystem of hydrosphere
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