Earth Layers

The layers of Earth are a great mystery as we really don´t have much evidence of whats really down there. So, this small documentary that “documents” a simulated trip to the core of the planet is a great way to get a feel for this very interesting theory on whats at the core of our planet. 

Resultado de imagen para Wikipedia layers of the planet

Layers based on chemical composition

During Earth’s early formation, the planet underwent a period of differentiation that allowed the heaviest elements to sink to the center and lighter ones to rise to the surface. Earth’s internal layering can be defined by this resulting chemical composition. The three main layers of Earth include the crust (1 percent of Earth’s volume), the mantle (84 percent), and the core (inner and outer combined, 15 percent). [1]


The solid crust is the outermost and thinnest layer of our planet. The crust averages 25 miles (40 kilometers) in thickness and is divided in to fifteen major tectonic plates that are rigid in the center and have geologic activity at the boundaries, such as earthquakes and volcanism.

The most abundant elements in the Earth’s crust include (listed here by weight percent) oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, and calcium. These elements combine to form the most abundant minerals in the Earth’s crust, members of the silicate family – plagioclase and alkali feldspars, quartz, pyroxenes, amphiboles, micas, and clay minerals.

All three rock types (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) can be found in Earth’s crust. Crustal material is classified as oceanic crust or continental crust. Oceanic crust underlies our ocean basins, is thin, approximately 4 miles (7 kilometers) in thickness, and is composed of dense rocks, primarily the igneous rock basalt. Continental crust is thicker, ranging from 6 to 47 miles (10 to 75 kilometers), and has a high abundance of the less dense igneous rock granite. The oldest rocks on our planet are part of the continental crust and date back approximately 4 billion years in age. Ocean crust is constantly recycled through our planet’s system of plate tectonics and only dates back to approximately 200 million years ago.

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) has drilled deep in to the ocean crust (4,644 feet below the seafloor) but has not yet broken through to the next layer, the mantle. [2] The boundary between the crust and underlying mantle is termed the Mohorovicic discontinuity, often referred to as the Moho.


Mantle material is hot (932 to 1,652 degrees Fahrenheit, 500 to 900 degrees Celsius) and dense and moves as semi-solid rock. The mantle is 1,802 miles (2,900 km) thick and is composed of silicate minerals that are similar to ones found in the crust, except with more magnesium and iron and less silicon and aluminum.

The base of the mantle, at the boundary with the outer core, is termed the Gutenberg discontinuity. It is at this depth (1,802 miles, 2,900 km) where secondary earthquake waves, or S waves, disappear, as S waves cannot travel through liquid.

Scientists are utilizing seismic tomography to construct 3-dimensional images of the mantle, but there are still limitations with the technology to fully map the Earth’s interior. [3]

Outer Core

The outer core is composed mostly of iron and nickel, with these metals found in liquid form. The outer core reaches between 7,200 and 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit (4,000 and 5,000 degrees Celsius) and is estimated to be 1,430 miles (2,300 km) thick. It is the movement of the liquid within the outer core that generates Earth’s magnetic field.

Inner Core

The inner core is the hottest part of our planet, at temperatures between 9,000 and 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,000 and 7,000 degrees Celsius). This solid layer is smaller than our Moon at 750 miles (1,200 km) thick and is composed mostly of iron. The iron is under so much pressure from the overlying planet that it cannot melt and stays in a solid state.

The solid inner core is believed to have formed relatively recently, around half a billion years ago. [4] In February 2015, scientists reported in the journal Nature Geoscience their discovery that the inner core may in fact be two distinct cores with complex structural properties, where iron crystals in the outer layer of the inner core are oriented north-south, and iron crystals in the inner-inner core are aligned east-west. [5] This new discovery may help scientists learn more about the history and formation of planet Earth.

Layers based on physical properties

The Earth is separated into layers based on mechanical properties in addition to the composition layers described above.


The lithosphere is the outermost layer of the Earth ~100 km thick and is defined by its mechanical properties. This rigid layer includes the brittle upper portion of the mantle and the crust. The lithosphere is divided into 15 major tectonic plates, and it is at the boundary of these plates where major tectonic occurs, such as earthquakes and volcanoes. The lithosphere contains oceanic and continental crust that varies in age and thickness across locations and geologic time. The lithosphere is the coolest layer of the Earth in terms of temperature, with the heat from the lower layers generating the plate movements. The term “lithosphere” should not be confused with the use of “geosphere,” which is used to indicate all of Earth’s systems, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.


The asthenosphere includes the upper part of the mantle that is highly viscous and mechanically weak. The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is where geophysicists mark the difference in ductility (a measures a solid material’s ability to deform or stretch under stress) between the two layers. This boundary in the upper mantle is marked at the 1300oC isotherm. Above the isotherm marks where the mantle behaves in a rigid fashion and below which it behaves in a ductile fashion. It is the ductile rocks in the upper part of the asthenosphere that are believed to be in the zone upon which the great rigid and brittle lithospheric plates of the Earth’s crust move about. Seismic waves travel relatively slowly through the asthenosphere.


The mesosphere refers to the mantle in the region under the lithosphere and the asthenosphere, but above the outer core. The upper boundary is defined as the sharp increase in seismic wave velocities and density at a depth of 660 kilometers (410 mi). This layer should not be confused with the atmospheric mesosphere.

What is The Schumann Resonance?

Planet Earth is full of life in every place we search for it. As many of you may not know Earth has a heartbeat, yes a heartbeat ladies and gentleman created by the electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere. This heartbeat is known as Schumann Resonance.

Earth has a heartbeat
The planet Earth pulses with a special kind of resonant wave. The beat is a quasi-standing electromagnetic wave that beats at around 8 cycles per second. When lightning strikes the earth around 4 million times a day, it creates electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere. These waves are caught between the ground and the upper atmosphere, sixty miles up. Most of them just dissipate but others with the right wavelength and frequency keep going and get bigger and bigger. They are standing waves that pulse, creating the amazing illusion of a heartbeat, known as the Schumann Resonance. Scientist thought it was always confined to the planet Earth, trapped under the ionosphere but in 2011 NASA scientists detected the waves 500 miles up in space. There is also an amazing Superdeep Hole in Germany drilled by the German Continental Deep Drilling Program, one of the most amazing geoscientific projects ever. The project’s goal was to grant scientists the opportunity to study the planet earth’s crust, the effects of stress on layers of rock and observe any abnormalities along the way. A Dutch artist wanted to know what the planet sounded like, so arranged to have a geophone lowered into the hole to record ultrasonic waves. The sound eerily resembles a heartbeat.

Largest living thing
Forget blue whales and giant redwood trees. The largest living thing on planet Earth is a humungous, amazing fungus. Scientists had never really paid much attention until recently when they realized how large they could get. Known as honey fungus, the large clumps of yellowish brownish mushrooms that appear above the ground are the fruits, so to speak, of much larger organisms. Mycelia are amazing underground networks of tubular filaments that spread out and if they come into contact with another genetically identical mycelia, they can fuse together to form one individual. The honey fungus tunnels underground causing massive tree die-offs and destroying gardens. It also tastes amazing in spaghetti sauce! The team that investigated a wide spread tree die off in Oregon discovered one organism that covered an area of 3.7 sq. miles and was somewhere between 1,900 and 8,650 years old! Not really specific but even 1900 years old is impressive!

Humans are not the only ones responsible for wide-scale extinctions
The Great Oxygenation Event, was the appearance of dioxygen (02)in Earth’s atmosphere. The actual causes are still under debate but it has something to do with oceanic cyanobacteria which became the first microbes to produce oxygen by photosynthesis about 2.3 billion years ago, about 200 million years before the GOE. This extra oxygen they started creating (after a confusing chemical process that we don’t have time to get into) started building up in the atmosphere which set the original atmosphere off balance. Earth’s skies used to be orange full of hydrocarbon particles and iron supporting anaerobic life. All of this oxygen was toxic to these organisms and wiped out most of the anaerobic inhabitants. Cyanobacteria is, therefore, responsible for one of the most significant extinction events in history. Within 200 million years, life before then was wiped out, transforming the orange skies into blue and laid the foundation for aerobic organisms and life the way it exists today.

Creeping Magnetic Pole
Earth’s the North Pole is moving as the ice melts and Earth’s distribution of mass changes. So you can still travel north to go the North pole but will also have to head eastward. Earth rotates on an invisible axis and the places where the axis intersects with the planet’s surface are the north and south poles. Due to the Earth’s wobble, these spots drift around in cycles. Scientists pinpoint the geographic north and south poles by taking long term averages of the rotational positions. Over the past 100 years, the poles have wandered about a few centimeters a year and would shift back and forth. Since 2000, it’s been moving about 10 centimeters a year. If ice disappears from one part of the spinning Earth and resettles elsewhere as water, the planet shifts on its axis toward the place where it lost mass. Scientists are still trying to determine what repercussions this may have regarding climate change and how to apply this to our GPS and satellite systems.

The driest place on Earth…….