The Earth’s Geosphere

Cayoosh Creek at Cinnamon Creek campsite just of the Duffy Lake Road (Hwy 99) between Pemberton and Lillooet, BC.

Geology is the science that studies the Earth: both physical (including the processes that shape it), and its history. Geomorphology looks at the physical aspects of the Earth’s landforms and the processes that created them and changes them.

The Earth is made up of three main components. The core, which is iron-rich and has a solid inner core (as it is slowly cooling) and liquid outer core. The mantle, is the middle section which gets heated from the core and cools and becomes more solid as it gets closer to the crust. This type of heating is convection heat, (like boiling water in a pot on the stove, it creates movement) which causes the molten material called magma to rise up and then moves horizontally as cooler material sinks again. The mantle contains a large amount of rock called peridotite. It has two upper layers: the Asthenosphere which is partially melted mantle and moves due to the convection currents, and the lithosphere which is brittle rocks. The lithosphere includes both the top part of the mantle and the third component, the ocean and the continental crust. The ocean crust is mostly basalt rock and the continental crust is largely granite, which are both igneous rock. There is also sedimentary and metamorphic rock found throughout the crust. The lithosphere is broken into pieces called plates and move because of the movement within the asthenosphere. These plates move away from each other in some areas, and are pushed together in other areas. This is called plate tectonics and these edges are generally where earthquakes and volcanoes happen. From here we get into the “Rock Cycle“.

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