Earth Sciences

Geosphere

The geosphere is the outermost layer of the earth, rigid and formed of solid rock which is also known as the crust. Without it, humans would not be able to live on the planet because there would be no solid ground on which they could live. It is in the earth's geosphere that we can find rocks, minerals, molten rock, sand and mountains. These rocks can be of various types such as sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. The Earth's geosphere is related to the other layers of the earth, including the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. Within it is also the lithosphere and is a layer that is in a constant state of motion.

What is the geosphere?

The geosphere is the solid part of the earth and the outermost layer, which is mostly located at the bottom of the ocean shaping the seabed and part shaping the islands and continents on earth.

Origin and formation

The origin of the geosphere dates back more than 4.5 billion years. The earth had been formed by a large group of shocks, dust, rocks and gases and the layers had been separated by gravity and cooling of the earth. Some scientists consider that the earth was created together with the solar system and that the earth at the beginning arose by the union of particles after the Big Bang, these unions could have been by homogeneous or heterogeneous accretion. It is considered that, at the beginning, it was a ball of melted materials and that by gravity, the densest materials sank forming the nucleus, and the lightest ones remained on the surface.

Geosphere characteristics

Layers

The layers of the geosphere are defined by their composition in the following ones:

According to physical properties, the geosphere is subdivided into: lithosphere, asthenosphere, mesosphere, outer core or endosphere and inner core.

Composition

It is composed of rocks and minerals, from molten rock to heavy metals. The geosphere also includes all the abiotic parts of the earth and the skeletons of animals that fossilize over time. Rock cycle processes, such as metamorphism, melting and solidification, weathering and erosion, are responsible for the constant recycling of rocks on Earth.

Dynamics

For a long time, scientists have sought ways to describe the different endogenous or tectonic processes that have been responsible for building the different reliefs using forces from within the planet. The dynamics of the geosphere can be internal or external. The internal one involves the movements of plates, volcanic activity and deformations. External dynamics involve external geological processes such as erosion, sedimentation and weathering, and external geological agents such as water and wind.

Natural phenomena in the geosphere

Different types of natural phenomena occur in the geosphere:

Importance

The geosphere is very important for life on earth because it defines much of the environment in which we live, controls the mineral distribution, rocks and soils and generates natural phenomena that, although dangerous, are responsible for shaping the earth. The distribution of the mountains, the position of the continents, the shape of the bottom of the sea and the location of the main rivers and floodplains are largely products of the processes that occur in the geosphere. The distribution of mineral resources, such as oil, coal, metallic minerals, and even sand and gravel, are fundamental to the economic success of most nations.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.
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