Earth System Science
Earth system refers to the earths interacting physical, biological, and chemical processes. The system consists of land, oceans, atmosphere and poles. The earth system has four spheres, including the geosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere. The geosphere refers to the solid parts of the earth system, including earth’s rocky crust, mantle, and the metallic core. Within the geosphere is the lithosphere, which only refers to the uppermost layers of solid earth. The uppermost layers of solid earth are the oceanic and continental crust rocks. Just below the crust is the mantle, which is composed mostly of magnesium and iron silicate minerals. The mantle accounts for about 2/3 of the earths mass and is about 2,900 Km thick. Below the mantle is the core, which is the center of the earth. The core is composed of mostly metallic iron and has an average density of 5.52g/cm^3.The hydrosphere is the liquid parts of the earth, including rivers, oceans, lakes, and marshes. The hydrosphere covers 70% of the earth’s surface and is home to many plants and organisms. The hydrological cycle, also known as the water cycle, describes the continuous movement of water above and below the surface of the earth. The amount of water that is on earth at any one time remains fairly constant because the water is moving form one reservoir into another such as river to ocean or ocean to atmosphere. This cycle involves the exchange of energy causes a change in temperature. This is why when evaporation occurs, it takes energy from its surroundings and cools the environment. While condensation occurs energy is released and the surrounding environment becomes warmer. The atmosphere is a m...
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... rift zones occur when parallel rift valleys, volcanism, and earthquakes characterize rifting and spreading on continents. An example of a divergent boundary is Iceland (along the Mid-Atlantic ridge). Plate tectonics are not only affected by the rock cycle but they also effect the rock cycle. Because of how the plates move some rocks or sediments can be moved or eroded and turned into another. If the motion of a oceanic plate carried sediments to a subduction zone then the sediments would be scraped of and added to the edge of a overlying plate. These sediments may fracture or fold and possibly metamorphose into a metamorphic rock. Continental plates are slowly moving continents little by little every day and it is predicted that in about 250 million years all the continents on earth will join and form a super continent. This super continent is known as pangea.
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