Unit CChapter 7 Lesson 1
C38 – C45
• Identify and describe Earth’s layers.
• Recognize that Earth’s lithosphere is broken into plates that move slowly across Earth’s surface.
• Recognize that the rock record shows Earth’s continents have moved across time.
• Earth has a layered structure. Its outer layer is made up of moving plates.
• Earth’s innermost structure.• Divided into two regions.• Outer core 1,400mi thick
and is the only layer in liquid state
• Inner core 720mi thick is the hottest layer mad up of iron & nickel, but the pressure keeps the metal from melting
CRUST• Thin, nearly solid
rock layer that is uppermost in Earth’s structure.
• Thinnest layer• Nearly solid rock.• Thickness under the
continents is 24miles• Under mountains
42miles• Under ocean-floor
• Area where Earth’s solid upper mantle and crust combine to form a rigid shell.
• Floats on the mantle
MANTLE• Thick layer of
Earth’s structure just below Earth’s crust.
• 2,900km (1,800mi) thick
• Makes up 2/3 of Earth’s mass
• Rock material is partially melted
PLATE TECTONICS• Idea that giant plates
or rock are moving slowly across Earth’s surface
• Geysers – hot water shooting up for Earth’s surface.
• Water drains deep into Earth’s surface.• How rocks heat up water until steam
forms• Pressure forces the remaining water to
erupt• Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
has may geysers.
• Temperature increases 2 – 3 degrees C for every 0.1km (300ft) below the surface.
• The deepest holes ever drilled are less than 15km (9mi).
• Geysers, Volcanoes, seismic waves help scientist learn about earth’s interior.
MOVING PLATES - 1915
• Alfred Wegener, German meteorologist & geologist
• Felt continents were moving slowly across Earth’s surface
• Wegener’s theory is known as The Theory of Continental Drift
• His theory was rejected
MOVING PLATES - 1950
• Scientist believed the lithosphere was broken up into giant slabs of rock called plates.
• This idea is called Plate Tectonics.• They move an average speed of 4
inches per year• Two kinds of plates: Oceanic plates &
• Oceanic Plates
• Consist of dense ocean-floor material
• Continental plates
• Made up of lighter continental rock “riding” on top of denser rock
• Two plates move toward each other.
• One plate may move under the other in a process called subduction.
• Oceanic & Continental plates converge.
• Denser rock of oceanic plate slides under the lighter continental plate
• Two plates move away from each other.
• Molten rock rises to fill the gap, creating new crust.
• Usually happens in the middle of the ocean floor
• Referred to as sea-floor spreading
• Two plates slide past each other, moving in opposite directions.
• This happens along what is known as a fault line.
Evidence for Moving Plates
• Rocks• Studying the layers of rocks shows
how they were deposited• Fossils – the physical remains or
traces of plant or animal that lived long ago
• Fossils found in sedimentary rock
• Fossils of similar species have been discovered on opposite sides of an ocean.
• This helps scientist understand how plates move.
• Fossils of tropical plants and animals have been found in polar regions.
PHOTO - CAMBRIAN TRILOBITE
Earth’s _____, consists of metals.
• Inner core
Where the upper mantle and crust meet.
______ is a theory that describes how large slabs of the lithosphere move..
• Plate Tectonics
Which is the thickest of Earth’s layers?
How can fossils provide evidence to support the
theory of plate tectonics?
• Fossils of tropical plants and animals may be found in polar regions.
List three ways scientist can learn more about what goes on beneath
• Study rocks drilled from the crust• Volcanoes• Geysers
Measurements indicate that the distance between Africa and South America is increasing. What do these measurements indicate about the portion of
Earth’s crust between Africa & South America?
• Africa & South America are located on different plates. There is a diverging boundary between the two plates.
Explain what happens to rock along converging boundaries.
• Plates collide and rocks compress and break. One plate may move below the other plate.
Besides plate movement, describe one process that can alter the structure of Earth’s
• Weathering, erosion, or depostion can create plateaus, mesas, caves, sand dunes, alluvial fans, barrier islands
Describe evidence of high temperatures below Earth’s
• Scientists encounter higher temperatures when they drill.
• Rocks melt below the Earth’s surface.• Geysers spew hot water from beneath
Describe one way mountains may have formed.
• Magma rose near the surface but did not break through.
• Faulting caused one plate to rise above another plate.
• Erosion by wind and rain rounded the surface over time.