What is the Innermost Layer of Earth?

6,488 Views Updated: 12 Aug 2017
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What is the Innermost Layer of Earth?

Our planet's interior, Core, is the most inhospitable layer for humans. It pounds the depths of everything else that you see around. Core, Mantle, Crust form the three layers of the earth, inner core, and outer core being Earth's inner layers.

Many geologists believe that as the planet started to cool, denser and heavier materials sank deep inside and brought the lighter ones above. Let's discuss the same in detail.

How do we know about the Core Mantle and Crust?

Mapping of earth's exteriors and interiors have been possible due to the studies revolving around seismic waves and other laboratory experiments. Characteristics like timing and strength of these waves have been recorded over time to give us a definite picture of what's deep within. Seismic waves are the ones that travel through the earth as a result of earthquake or explosion etc.

What are the layers of Earth? Crust, mantle, and core!

The order goes from outside of the earth to its inside:

#1. Crust - Thin Outermost Layer

This forms the outermost layer of the earth where the marine and land life exists. It's the layer we live on. Ocean crust forms water, and the continental crust forms land. Crust goes almost a hundred km deep inside. It comprises of the sedimentary rocks along with metamorphic, silicates and igneous. The crust is basically divided into gigantic tectonic plates. When these collide, it leads to an earthquake. Crust and upper mantle form the lithosphere.


(Image Courtesy: Structure Of the Earth)

#2. Mantle - Dense, Hot and Semi Solid

This is the layer in between the crust and the outer core. Mantle extends to a depth of almost 3000 km being the thickest and the widest section on earth. This layer is said to be rich in iron and magnesium along with other molten rocks called as magma. There are different temperatures varying the depth as it goes. The upper mantle known as the asthenosphere is 200 km thick containing the heavy weight hard rocks. But the inner mantle is constituted of semi molten rocks that are soft, and they melt. Movement of the plates is dependent upon the mantle. The greatest temperature difference of the upper and inner mantle creates their flow.

Mantle - Dense, Hot and Semi Solid

(Image Courtesy: Slide Player)

#3. Core

Earth's inner layer comprises of:

Outer core

This layer of the earth comprises of super heated molten lava that's mostly nickel and iron. The layer extends to a 2260 km depth. All the metals inside are in their liquid form. As the earth rotates, it causes the outer core also to spin the entire liquid producing earth's magnetic field.

Inner Core

The inner core is around 1440 km towards the earth's center; It's the hottest layer of earth. The temperature is so high that some scientists believe this layer could be solid due to extreme pressures.

Crust is the widely studied layer till now. If one could manage to reach deep within the earth is only when they'll be able to study more. However, there are several tools that helped humans to explore what is inside the earth's core.

earth inner layers

(Image Courtesy: Extreme Tech)

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(Featured Image Courtesy: CK-12)

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Answer

The earth can be divided into three layers, the core, the mantle and the crust. The inner most layer among all of these is the core. There is the inner core and the outer core and together they form the innermost layer of the earth. What is important to know is the idea that inner core is solid version of the inner most layer of the crust and the outer core is the liquid form of the core. All of the layers are rich in some kind of mineral composition and they all are essential for the balanced existence of the earth.
It is believed that the inner core is really rich in minerals like gold and platinum and other chemical content. Whereas the outer core that is liquid in the form and surrounds the solid inner core is made of iron mixed with nickel, there are traces of other elements that are there as a part of this layer. These two come together and comprise of the innermost layer of the earth. This layer is surrounded by two other layers.

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