summary of the plate tectonics chapter

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University of Toronto St. George
School of Environment
Brian Karney

ENV346 Plate tectonics Summary The structure of the inside of the Earth remained mystery until very recently The Earth was simply too big to retrieve samples from its core to determine its composition It was the study of earthquakes that finally revealed how the inside of Earth is structured It was determined that the Earth is not of homogenous density and that as you approach the center the density increases Earth is density stratified It was also found that the Earth is not all in one state of matter by study of the earthquake waves it was evident that the earth had a solid inner core surrounded by a liquid core and surrounded by that a solid mantle The structure was discovered due to the products of earthquakes Primary and Secondary wavesDuring an earthquake both types of waves are released Primary or pressure waves like those when spring is pulled and released were found to travel faster as they went down and were refracted towards the surface revealing the density stratification of Earth Secondary or shear waves like those of a shaken rope were responsible for the discovery of the different states of matter within the Earth Secondary waves travel perpendicular to each particles motion and therefore will only pass through a solid because the particles in a liquid or gas will not influence articles adjacent to them It was discovered that secondary waves do not pass through the center of the Earth whi
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