WHAT DOES THE EARTH LOOK LIKE? The planet earth is sphere-shaped, slightly flattened at the North and the South Pole. Satellite photographs show that much of its surface is covered by sea and oceans, separating the continents with their mountains, open plains, forests, rivers and, lakes. The solid outer surface of the Earth which forms the continents and the ocean beds is called the Earth’s Crust. Earth is also called the Blue Planet because seen from the space, it looks blue. The waters of the sea and oceans cover about two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. Read more facts about the Earth.
WHO STUDIES THE EARTH?
A geologist reconstructs the story of our planet by studying the structure of the Earth’s Crust and all that happens as a result. A geophysicist studies all the natural happenings which take place in the atmosphere, on the Earth’s surface, and inside the planet. Therefore, geographer studies and maps out Earth’s natural features such as mountains, rivers, lakes, etc, and man-made addictions such as roads, bridges and, canals.
WHAT IS INSIDE THE EARTH?
The Earth is made up of layers of rock which surround a nucleus. The layer on the outside is called the Earth’s Crust and is a thin layer of solid rock. Under this is the Earth’s Mantle a mass of rock fused together. Down the Earth is the nucleus or core. The outer part of the nucleus consists of liquid rock, whilst the inside is solid and is also the hottest because it is under the most pressure. The deeper inside the Earth, the greater the temperature.
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WHAT IS AN EARTHQUAKE?
Tectonic plates that comprise the Earth’s Crust are in continuous movement. They press one against the other, or they move apart, sometimes moving in opposite directions. As they rub against each other, this slows down their movement, causing an accumulation of enormous vibrations and the vibrations shake the Earth’s surface which causes an earthquake. the Earthquake can be intensity enough to destroy an entire city, causing death and injury to many victims.
HYPOCENTRE AND EPICENTRE
At the point by which the seismic wave originates is known as hypocenter, or focus, and is below ground. The epicenter is the point in the Earth’s surface which correspond to the focus.
HOW DID THE MOUNTAINS BEGIN?
The Earth’s Crust is divided into 17 huge plates called tectonic plates, which is together rather like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Tectonic plates are in constant movement because they rest on the magma underneath. These plates slide one against the other, they collide, they move apart. These movements, as well as causing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the Continental Drift, also lead to the formation of mountain chains. When two plates press one against the other, the Earth’s Crust pushed is pushed up towards the top and forms mountain chains in folds. But when the Crust breaks along cracks or fault lines, great blocks of rock are thrown up and form mountain chains in blocks. Example of block mountain is the Sierra Nevada in North America.
WHAT IS A VALLEY?
A valley is a thin basin situated between the base of mountains. Valleys are formed by erosion or wearing away caused by ice and the course of water. The shape of a valley depends on how it began.