Ch 4: Earth's Spheres and Internal Structure

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about the Earth's atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz you can use to check your understanding of these topics.

The Earth is much more than a ball of rock orbiting the sun; it's a complicated system of spheres and internal layers that interact with one another. In this chapter, video instructors describe the characteristics of the Earth's four spheres and explain the Earth's internal composition. You'll be introduced to all of the theories that shape our current understanding of this branch of Earth Sciences. At the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Explain how the internal and external components of the Earth shape the features on its surface
  • Name the four sphere and understand their characteristics
  • Describe the Earth system
  • Name the components of the Earth's internal layers
  • Describe the physical properties of the internal layers

The Dynamic Earth: Internal and External Forces that Shape the Earth SurfaceUnderstand the evidence of the earth's internal and external forces that shape its surface
The Four Spheres of Earth: Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and AtmosphereDescribe each of Earth's four spheres. List several examples of features in each sphere
Interactions of Earth's Spheres: Purpose and ExamplesDescribe how Earth's spheres interact to form a complex and continuously changing whole called the Earth system. Provide examples of interactions between two or more spheres
Composition of Earth's Internal Layers: Crust, Mantle and CoreList and briefly describe Earth's internal composition. Discussion will include and illustrate Earth's crust (continental and oceanic), mantle, and core
Physical Properties of Earth's Internal Layers: Lithosphere, Asthenosphere, Lower Mantle, and Core LayersDescribe the physical properties of Earth's internal core including: lithosphere, asthenosphere, lower mantle, outer and inner cores. Explain how the physical layers were determined by using these physical properties of materials such as temperature, density, plasticity, stress tolerance, etc.
How Scientists Study Earth's Interior StructureIdentify several ways in which scientists can study Earth's interior indirectly or remotely

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