Lithosphere The Lithosphere is the outer shell of the Earth including the crust and the upper mantle. It is composed of brittle rock. The lithosphere is broken into the tectonic plates. The plates or chunks of crust, drift about on the magma in the mantle below. They move only a few centimeters a year. A subduction zone is a place where two plates collide. Plates are constantly shifting and moving, so when they subduct, one pushes beneath the other. Subductionzones create geologic formations such as mountain ranges, ocean trenches, and island arcs, as well as phenomena like earthquakes and volcanoes.
A volcano is a rupture or a break in a planets crust where hot magma, ash, and gases are released. Volcanoes are usually found where plates are diverging (going apart) or converging (coming together). Before an eruption there are many small earthquakes because moving magma pushes the ground out of it’s way.
How do humans affect the lithosphere? -humans put carbon into the atmosphere -logging has killed trees and stopped them from using the carbon -land uses such as agriculture, livestock grazing, and draining swamps move carbon from the soil to the atmosphere.