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The Layers of the Earth

The crust of the Earth is broken into many pieces

The Four Layers called plates. The plates "float" on the soft, semi-rigid

The Asthenosphere

The Earth is composed of four different layers. The

crust is the layer that you live on, and it is the most
widely studied and understood. The mantle is much
hotter and has the ability to flow. The outer core and
inner core are even hotter with pressures so great you
would be squeezed into a ball smaller than a marble if
The asthenosphere is the semi-rigid part of the middle
you were able to go to the center of the Earth!
mantle that flows like hot asphalt under a heavy
The Crust

The Lithosphere

The crust and the upper layer of the mantle together

make up a zone of rigid, brittle rock called the

The Earth's Crust is like the skin of an apple. It is very

thin in comparison to the other three layers. The crust is The Crust
only about 3-5 miles (8 kilometers) thick under the
oceans (oceanic crust) and about 25 miles (32
kilometers) thick under the continents (continental

The Lithospheric Plates

The crust is composed of two rocks. The continental a free ride with these currents, like the cork in this
crust is mostly granite. The oceanic crust is basalt. illustration.
Basalt is much denser than the granite. Because of this
Safety Caution: Dont get your face too close to the
the less dense continents ride on the denser oceanic
boiling water!
The Outer Core
The Mantle

The core of the Earth is like a ball of very hot metals.

The Mantle is the largest layer of the Earth. The The outer core is so hot that the metals in it are all in
middle mantle is composed of very hot dense rock that the liquid state. The outer core is composed of the
flows like asphalt under a heavy weight. The movement melted metals of nickel and iron.
of the middle mantle (asthenosphere) is the reason that
the crustal plates of the Earth move. The Inner Core

Convection Currents The inner core of the Earth has temperatures and
pressures so great that the metals are squeezed
together and are not able to move about like a liquid,
but are forced to vibrate in place like a solid.

The middle mantle "flows" because of convection

currents. Convection currents are caused by the very
hot material at the deepest part of the mantle rising, What are minerals?
then cooling and sinking again --repeating this cycle How are they different?
over and over.
Rock-Forming Mineral Groups
Convection Currents

The next time you heat anything like soup or water in

a pan you can watch the convection currents move in
the liquid. When the convection currents flow in the
asthenosphere they also move the crust. The crust gets

Mineral Identification What are the chemical properties in identifying
common rock sample?
Crystal Form
Silicates, Carbonates, Oxides, Sulfates and Sulfides,
Halides, Native elements
3.1 The Rock Cycle
Rocks are any solid mass of mineral or mineral-like
Other Properties. Taste, smell, feel, tenacity, matter occurring naturally as part of our planet.
reaction to acid, magnetism,
Types of Rocks
2.3 Properties of Minerals
1. Igneous rock is formed by the crystallization of
Color molten magma.

Small amounts of different elements can give the 2. Sedimentary rock is formed from the weathered
same mineral different colors. products of preexisting rocks that have been
transported, deposited, compacted, and cemented.
3. Metamorphic rock is formed by the alteration of pre-
Streak is the color of a mineral in its powdered form. existing rock deep within Earth (but still in the solid
Luster state) by heat, pressure, and/or chemically active fluids.

Luster is used to describe how light is reflected from The Rock Cycle
the surface of a mineral. Shows the interrelationships among the three rock
Crystal Form types (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic)

Crystal form is the visible expression Magma is molten material that forms deep beneath
of a minerals internal arrangement of atoms. the Earths surface.

Hardness Lava is magma that reaches the surface.

Hardness is a measure of the resistance of a mineral Weathering is a process in which rocks are broken
to being scratched. down by water, air, and living things.

Mohs scale consists of 10 minerals arranged from 10 Sediment is weathered pieces of Earth elements.
(hardest) to 1 (softest).


Cleavage is the tendency of a mineral to cleave, or

break, along flat, even surfaces.


Minerals that do not show cleavage when broken are

said to fracture.

Fracturethe uneven breakage of

a mineral


Density is a property of all matter that

is the ratio of an objects mass to its volume.

What are the physical properties in identifying common

rock sample?

Crystal Form,Cleavage,Luster,Streak,Hardness

Color,Other Properties. Taste, smell, feel, tenacity,

reaction to acid, magnetism,

Basic formation

Extrusives: rapid cooling

Intrusives: slow cooling

Classification of Igneous Rocks

Igneous rocks can be classified based on their

composition and texture.

1. Texture

Coarse-grained texture is caused by slow cooling

resulting in larger crystals.

Fine-grained texture is caused by rapid cooling

resulting in smaller, interconnected mineral grains.

3.2 Igneous Rocks

Energy That Drives the Rock Cycle
Classification of Igneous Rocks
Processes driven by heat from the Earths interior are
responsible for forming both igneous rock and 1. Texture (continued)
metamorphic rock.
Glassy texture is caused by very rapid cooling.
Weathering and the movement of weathered
materials are external processes powered by energy Porphyritic texture is caused by different rates of
from the sun. cooling resulting in varied sized minerals.

External processes produce sedimentary rocks. 2. Composition

Formation of Igneous Rocks Granitic composition rocks are made mostly

of light-colored quartz and feldspar.
1. Intrusive igneous rocks are formed when magma
hardens beneath Earths surface. Classification of Igneous Rocks

2. Extrusive igneous rocks are formed when lava


Crustal depth controls crystal size

2. Chemical sedimentary rocks form when dissolved
substances precipitate, or separate, from water.

Common rocks include

- limestonemost abundant chemical rock

- microcrystalline quartz known as chert, flint,

jasper, or agate

- evaporites such as rock salt or gypsum

- coal

Features of Some Sedimentary Rocks

Features of sedimentary rocks are clues to

Classification of Igneous Rocks how and where the rocks are formed

2. Composition (continued) 3.4 Metamorphic Rocks

Basaltic composition rocks are made mostly of dark- Formation of Metamorphic Rocks
colored silicate minerals and plagioclase feldspar. Metamorphism means to change form.
Andesitic composition rocks are between granitic Most metamorphic changes occur at elevated
light-color minerals and basaltic composition dark- temperatures and pressures.
colored minerals.
Conditions for formation are found a few kilometers
Ultramafic composition rocks are made mostly from below the Earths surface and extend into the upper
iron and magnesium-rich minerals. mantle.
3.3 Sedimentary Rocks Contact metamorphism occurs when magma moves
Formation of Sedimentary Rocks into rock.

Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition Occurs near a body of magma

Changes are driven by a rise in temperature.
Erosion involves the weathering and the removal of Regional metamorphism results in large-scale
rock. deformation and high-grade metamorphism.
Directed pressures and high temperatures occur during
Deposition occurs when an agent of erosionwater, mountain building.
wind, ice, or gravityloses energy and drops sediments. Produces the greatest volume of metamorphic rock
Agents of Metamorphism
Compaction and Cementation
Compaction is a process that squeezes, or compacts, Provides the energy needed to drive chemical
sediments. reactions
Cementation takes place when dissolved minerals are Causes a more compact rock with greater density
deposited in the tiny spaces among the sediments. Hydrothermal Solutions
Hot water-based solutions escaping from the mass of
Classification of Sedimentary Rocks magma
Two Main Groups Promote recrystallization by dissolving original
minerals and then depositing new ones
1. Clastic sedimentary rocks are composed Classification of Metamorphic Rocks
of weathered bits of rocks and minerals. Two main categories
1. Foliated Metamorphic Rock
Classified by particle size Has a banded or layered appearance
2. Nonfoliated Metamorphic Rock
Common rocks include
Does not have a banded texture
- Shale (most abundant) Classification of Metamorphic Rocks

- Sandstone

- Conglomerate

Classification of Sedimentary Rocks

Two Main Groups