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Earth's Structure

Earth's Structure

Author: Peter McFarland
Description:

Students will learn the layers of the earth and be able to identify and describe each.

The earth's structure is similar to an apple.  The outer skin represents the crust, the earth's thinnest layer.  The white part of the apple is like the mantle.  Finally, the core is exactly that:  the core of the earth, with a solid inner core and molten outer core.

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Tutorial

The earth is composed of many different layers.  A knowledge of earth's interior is essential for understanding plate tectonics. A good analogy for teaching about earth's interior is a piece of fruit with a large pit such as a peach or a plum. Most students are familiar with these fruits and have seen them cut in half. In addition the size of the features are very similar.

If we cut a piece of fruit in half we will see that it is composed of three parts: 1) a very thin skin, 2) a seed of significant size located in the center, and 3) most of the mass of the fruit being contained within the flesh. Cutting the earth we would see: 1) a very thin crust on the outside, 2) a core of significant size in the center, and 3) most of the mass of the Earth contained in the mantle.

Source: geology.com

Looking at the earth's structure

Earth structure