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Geology. Our Changing Earth. What is GEOLOGY?. Geology is the study of the Earth, the different processes and cycles, its materials, its history, and its effect on humans and other life. 

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Our Changing Earth

what is geology
What is GEOLOGY?
  • Geology is the study of the Earth, the different processes and cycles, its materials, its history, and its effect on humans and other life. 
  • Rocks, crystals, mountains, earthquakes, volcanoes, rivers, glaciers, landslides, floods are just some of the fields of geology. 
  • Geologists determine the stability of building sites, find supplies of clean water, search for valuable deposits of natural resources such as iron, coal, and oil, and they also try to minimize the threat to communities at risk from geologic hazards (such as sink holes, etc.).
the earth
The Earth
  • Formed 4.6 billion yrs. ago
  • Result of debris from formation of the universe
  • Contains 75% water
  • Seven continents
  • Atmosphere (78% N/21% O2)
  • Third planet from sun (93 million miles)
  • Revolution: 365.25 days
  • Rotation: 24 hours
  • Contains four layers
  • Only known planet to contain life
  • Has one satellite (moon)
the layers of the earth
The Layers of the Earth
  • The crust is up to 25 miles thick
  • The mantle is 1800 miles thick
  • The outer core is 1400 miles thick
  • The inner core is 800 miles thick
  • The diameter of Earth is nearly 8,000 miles
the crust
The Crust

Oceanic crust (3-5 miles thick)

Continental crust (upwards of 25 miles thick)

Also called the lithosphere

Temperature ranges from surface to 1600 degree F

It is broken into pieces called plates

Earthquakes occur in the crust as well as volcanoes

It is made up of sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks

O2, Silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, sodium, and magnesium are the main elements found in the crust

the mantle
The Mantle

Thickness of 1800 miles

Temperature ranges from 1600 to approx. 5000 degrees F (cooler at the top than bottom)

Also called asthenosphere

Crust “floats” on this layer

Convection currents (circular movement) of magma causes crust to move above the mantle

magma and convection currents
Magma and Convection Currents

Radioactive decay of elements in the Earth causes heat/magma

Heat is transferred from interior to surface where magma breaks apart and moves the crust above them

This breaking apart is shown in circular patterns called convection currents

Cooler magma then sinks back down and causes less dense hotter magma to rise

outer core
Outer Core

About 1400 miles thick

Temperatures range from 4000 degrees F to 9,000

All metals are in a liquid state

Composed of nickel and iron

Helps creates the magnetic field, which protects the Earth from the sun’s UV rays

Intense heat and pressure

inner core
Inner Core

About 800 miles thick

Temperature and pressure so great that the metals are unable to move

The core vibrates in place due to intense pressures

Temperatures around 9000 degrees F

Pressure is around 45,000,000 lbs p.s.i. (3,000,000 times greater than what you currently feel at sea level)