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Brief Review from yesterday

Brief Review from yesterday

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Brief Review from yesterday

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  1. Brief Review from yesterday • We claimed that the Earth has 3 main layers • Crust • Mantle • Core • 2 of these layers (Mantle & Core) are broken into subgroups due to differences in composition and physical properties • Mantle consists of (order from least to greatest depth) lithosphere, asthenosphere, and mesosphere • The core consists of an “outer core” and an “inner core.” Though both are part of what we call the core due to their composition, they have very distinct physical properties • Because we just barely “scratched the surface” yesterday, let’s break these layers down a bit and get a “deeper” understanding • 2 puns in one sentence without intention….not bad….not good…..but not bad ;)

  2. The Crust • Though we generally refer to the crust as any continental plates, geologists separate the crust into continental and oceanic crust for 3 reasons: • Difference in density and therefore composition • Difference in actual depth • Difference in formation and therefore age

  3. The Crust • The oceanic crust at the island of Hawaii is about 5 km thick • Thickness of the continental crust under eastern California ranges from 25 km under the Great Valley to 60 km under the Sierra Nevada where Mount Whitney is

  4. The Crust • So why is oceanic crust much thinner AND younger than continental crust? • Unlike continental crust, oceanic crust is actively being created • At mid-ocean ridges, magma erupts on ocean floor and horizontally pushes previously created ocean crust in a conveyor-belt fashion • When oceanic crust encounters continental crust, it becomes “subducted” because of its greater density • Oceanic crust then returns back to mantle where it is re-melted into magma

  5. The Mantle • Constitutes about 84% of Earth’s volume • Lithosphere • The uppermost mantle plus overlying crust • Rigid • Asthenosphere • Resembles a much more “plastic-like” substance due to the T & P conditions that allow rock to become bendable w/o breaking • Area of low density • Important to tectonic plate movements • Mesosphere • Lower part of mantle • Though the rock is hot, the pressure makes the rock solid

  6. The Core • Huge ball of liquid and solid iron (mostly) • Outer Core • Radius of 3400 km • Liquid due to low enough pressure (which is still huge amounts!) and extreme temperature • Contains Iron and Nickel • Creates Earth’s magnetic field which protects life from solar radiation • Inner Core • Radius about 1200 km • Solid ball of iron-nickel alloy • Temperatures comparable to the sun! (over 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit) • SLOWLY growing in size due to the cooling of the outer core where the 2 cores meet

  7. Sounds good, but how do we know it’s true? • What about the “hollow Earth theory?”  • • Look for the evidence!!

  8. Why waves??? One of the properties about any type of wave is that it will change its speed & direction as it moves from one substance to another If we have a good understanding of how certain waves move through certain substances, we can use this information to infer what kind of substance a wave moves through without having even seen the actual substance

  9. Represent different layers in the Earth • Notice how waves are “bent” each time it encounters a new layer • Time it takes waves to reach microphone also allows us to determine depth

  10. Oil companies use this concept • Help determine where the oil is • Help determine depth • Provides information as to what material they will need to drill through

  11. So lets get back to the inside of the Earth • Here was the hypothesis: • IF the crust and the mantle were composed of the same material, then the wave traveling the shortest distance would be the first to register at the seismograph

  12. But that’s not what actually happened… • So what did happen? • The seismic waves that traveled through the mantle, which was a greater distance, actually arrived at the seismograph FIRST! • AndrijaMohorovicic, a Croatian seismologist discovered this in 1909 • Moho realized that the waves must have been traveling through a different substance, specifically a substance with greater density, in order to arrive earlier • Labeled this boundary between the crust and mantle as Mohorovicic Discontinuity or simply “Moho”

  13. What about the rest of the Earth? • Only high energy seismic waves from nuclear explosions or earthquakes can travel all the way through the Earth and back to the surface • If the interior of the Earth was made of the same substance and density, we would expect to see the seismic waves travel in a path like the diagram below

  14. However….. • Instead, what we see is something like this… • What this means is that something caused these waves to bend and travel at different velocities • The increase in density increases the speed at which the waves travel Therefore, the Earth is not made of the same material and has different density throughout!

  15. In addition…. • We noticed something else very interesting…. • Some of the waves, called S waves, never reached the opposite side of the Earth • Scientists knew from previous experiments that S waves CANNOT travel through liquid, only through solid • What this meant was that something inside the Earth stopped these S waves from traveling through • Therefore, there must be a liquid layer inside the Earth (outer core) • Size of the shadow zone helped us understand the size of the layer that was liquid

  16. What about the inner core? • We cannot rely on S waves to reveal the inner core because, as we saw, they stopped at the liquid outer core • Because of this, we have to rely on another type of seismic wave called a P wave • P waves can travel through both liquid and solid • The waves bend AGAIN after passing through outer core! • This has to mean that there must be another layer within the outer core

  17. To summarize….

  18. Mostly made of basalt Mostly made of granite

  19. What I expect you to know about Earth’s interior • Names of the different layers • General depths (which is bigger and smaller) • General physical properties of different layers (pressure and state of matter) • Explain how we know of the existence of different layers • Use evidence to support such claims

  20. So why do scientists laugh at such a theory as the hollow Earth? • Use of seismic waves • Seismic waves • Vibrations that carry energy from the source of the shaking outward in all directions • Concept is similar to the “pebble in pond” experience we’ve all had • To no surprise, an earthquake is a much more complicated process and therefore has much more varied seismic waves • So what waves are we talking about then? • P waves (primary) • S waves (secondary)

  21. P and S waves

  22. P & S waves • When an earthquake occurs, the seismic waves (P & S) spread out in all directions through Earth’s interior • Scientists analyze this seismic data by specifically looking for a few things • The velocity the waves travel at throughout the interior of the Earth • Whether or not they actually travel through them at all • What are some characteristics of P and S waves while traveling through interior? • Depend on the material properties such as composition, temp., pressure, and density • Travel more quickly through denser materials • Hot areas slow down seismic waves • Seismic waves move more slowly through a liquid than a solid • Molten areas slow down P waves and stop S waves (cannot travel through liquid)

  23. It’s all about the Moho • Mohorovicic Discontinuity (Moho) • Boundary between the crust and the mantle • Discovered by AndrijaMohorovicic, a Croatian seismologist, in 1909 • The word “discontinuity” in geology is used for a surface at which seismic waves change velocity • Moho saw this increase in velocity and inferred that the acceleration must be caused by a higher density material (a different layer) • Has anyone ever seen the Moho? • No one has ever been deep enough into the Earth and no wells have ever been drilled deep enough • Drilling wells to that depth (avg. of 32 km) are insanely expensive and very difficult • Deepest well ever drilled about 12 km