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Earth science

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The Lesson Activities will help you meet these educational goals: Science Inquiry—You will view graphic information, draw conclusions, and communicate your conclusions in written form. STEM—You will use scientific tools and knowledge to analyze real-world situations and gain insight into careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. 21st Century Skills—You will employ online tools for research, communicate effectively, and assess and validate information. ________________________________________________________________________________


Write a response for each of the following activities. When you have finished, submit your work to your teacher. Check the rubric at the end of this document to make sure your work is meeting the expected criteria.

1. Earth’s Composition A
Although geologists are unable to see the exact composition and position of all the earth’s layers, they have used various tools to determine what lies beneath the crust. Use the Internet or textbooks to research geologists’ findings. The diagram below shows a cutaway view of the earth (not to scale). Identify each layer and describe its general characteristics.

Type your response here:

a. Continential Crust: the relatively thick part of the earth’s crust that forms the large landmasses. It is generally older and more complex than the oceanic crust.

b. Oceanic Crust: the relatively thin part of the earth’s crust that underlies the ocean basins. It is geologically young compared with the continental crust and consists of basaltic rock overlain by sediments.

c. Litosphere: the rigid outer part of the earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle.

d. Asthenosphere: the upper layer of the earth’s mantle, below the lithosphere, in which there is relatively low resistance to plastic flow and convection is thought to occur.

e. Mantle: between the crust and core

f. Outer Core: Earth’s outer core is a liquid layer about 2,266 km (1,408 mi) thick composed of iron and nickel that lies above Earth’s solid inner core and below its mantle. Its outer boundary lies 2,890 km (1,800 mi) beneath Earth’s surface.

g. Inner Core: Earth’s inner core is Earth’s innermost part and is a primarily solid ball with a radius of about 1,220 km (760 mi), according to seismological studies. (This is about 70% of the Moon’s radius.)

2. Earth’s Composition B
The diagram below shows a cutaway view of the earth (to scale). Identify each layer and describe the geological role each layer plays in relation to convection currents.

Type your response here:

a. Crust: Convection currents inside of the earth can effect the crust by causing the following mountains to form, earthquakes, and sometimes volcanoes.

b. Mantle: The mantle is made of much denser, thicker material, because of this the plates “float” on it like oil floats on water. Many geologists believe that the mantle “flows” because of convection currents.

c. Core: The magma underneath the earth’s crust is constantly moving because
hot magma rises up to near the surface of the crust and cools, moving back down, then is heated again. This movement of magma is kindof like a circular movement and as the plates sit on this magma, they also move along with the magma.

These rubrics will be used by your teacher to grade your assignment.

Points possible:
Earth’s Composition A: 14 points maximum
Earth’s Composition B: 6 points maximum

Earth’s Composition A
14 points
Earth’s Composition B
6 points
correctly identified each layer using either its Latin-based name or common English name (1 point each)
correctly identified each layer (1 point each)
accurately described each layer’s physical characteristics (1 point each) accurately described each layer’s role in convection (1 point each)

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