chapter2 - Earth Materials and Processes Chapter 2 San...

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Earth Materials and Processes Chapter 2
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San Andreas Fault Map showing the San Andreas Fault and topography in California. Arrows show the relative motion on either side of the fault. California straddles the boundary between two tectonic plates A fault is a fracture in which one side has moved relative to another Los Angeles on the Pacific Plate is moving towards San Francisco on the North American Plate and in 20 million years will be beside each other
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Earthquake in Haiti was caused by movement between the Carribean Plate and the North American Plate
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The Geologic Cycle • Tectonic cycle • Rock cycle • Hydrologic cycle • Biogeochemical cycle
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Figure 2.1 Plate movement Model of plate movement and mantle. The outer layer (lithosphere) is approximately 100 km (~62 miles) thick and is stronger and more rigid than the deeper asthenosphere, which is a hot and slowly flowing layer of relatively low-strength rock. The oceanic ridge is a spreading center where plates pull apart , drawing hot, buoyant material into the gap. After these plates cool and become dense, they descend at oceanic trenches (subduction zones), Completing the convection system. This process of spreading produces ocean basins and Mountain ranges often where plates converge at subduction zones. A schematic diagram of Earth’s layers is shown at Figure 2.2b.
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Figure 2.2 Earth and its Interior (a) Earth from space (b) Idealized diagram showing the internal structure of Earth and its layers extending from the center to the surface. Notice the lithosphere includes the crust and the mantle. Properties of various layers have been estimated On the basis of 1) interpretation of geophysical data (earthquake seismic Waves) and 2) examination of rocks thought to have risen from below By tectonic processes and meteorites, thought to be pieces of an old Earthlike planet. (a) (b)
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Internal Structure of the Earth Earth has a radius of ~ 6000km. A solid inner core – 1300km thick, and 5000K warm. Composed of iron, sulphur, oxygen and nickel A liquid outer core, 2000km thick, fluid, density 10.7 gm/cm 3 (same for the inner core) and average for the earth is 5.5 Mantle nearly 3000km thick mostly solid 4.5 gm/cm 3 Boundary between the mantle and the crust (Mohorovicic discontinuity – Moho) 2.8 gm/cm 3 Top layer – lithosphere, stronger and rigid compared to the layer below it – asthenosphere – hot and flowing layer of weak rock Crust is the top layer of the lithosphere. Crust is very thin – 6km for ocean to 35km for continents Core mantle boundary is heating up and falling back again in convection cycles
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Plate Tectonics Tectonics refers to large scale geological processes that deform the Earth’s lithosphere producing landforms such as ocean basins, continents and mountains. The lithosphere is broken into a large number of plates called
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2011 for the course GEOL 103 taught by Professor Lakshmi during the Spring '10 term at South Carolina.

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chapter2 - Earth Materials and Processes Chapter 2 San...

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