Inside the Earth

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Term Definition
Crust The outermost layer of the Earth
Mantle The layer of the Earth between the crust and the core
Core The layer of the Earth that extends from below the mantle to the center of the Earth
Lithosphere The solid, outer layer of the Earth that consists of the crust and the rigid upper part of the mantle
Asthenosphere The soft layer of the mantle on which the tectonic plates move
Mesosphere
The strong, lower part of the mantle between the asthenosphere and the core
Tectonic Plate A block of lithosphere that consists of the crust and the rigid, outermost part of the mantle
Continental Drift The hypothesis that states that the continents once formed a single landmass, broke up, and drifted to their present locations
Sea-Floor Spreading The process by which new oceanic lithosphere forms as magma rises towards the surface and solidifies
Plate Tectonics The theory that explains how large pieces of the Earth's outermost layer, called tectonic plates, move and change shape
Convergent Boundary The boundary formed by the collision of two lithospheric plates
Divergent Boundary The boundary between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other
Transform Boundary The boundary between tectonic plates that are sliding past each other horizontally
Compression
Stress that occurs when forces act to squeeze an object
Tension Stress that occurs when forces act to stretch an object
Folding The bending of rock layers due to stress
Fault A break in a body of rock along which one block slides relative to another
Uplift The rising of regions of the Eartha??s crust to higher elevations
Subsidence The sinking of regions of the Eartha??s crust to lower elevations

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