Inside the Earth

Term Definition
Crust The thin and solid outermost layer of the Earth above the mantle
Mantle The layer of rock between the Eartha??s crust and core
Core The central part of the Earth below the mantle
Lithosphere The solid, outer layer of the Earth that consists of the crust and the rigid upper part of the mantle
Asthenosphere The soft layer of the mantle on which the tectonic plates move
Mesosphere The strong, lower part of the mantle between the asthenosphere and the outer core
Tectonic Plate A block of lithosphere that consists of the crust and the rigid, outermost part of the mantle
Continental Drift The hypothesis that states that the continents once formed a single landmass, broke up, and drifted to their present locations
Sea-Floor Spreading The process by which new oceanic lithosphere forms as magma rises toward the surface and solidifies
Plate Tectonics The theory that explains how large pieces of the Eartha??s outermost layer, called tectonic plates, move and change shape
Convergent Boundary The boundary formed by the collision of two lithospheric plates
Divergent Boundary The boundary between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other
Transform Boundary The boundary between tectonic plates that are sliding past each other horizontally
Compression Stress that occurs when forces act to squeeze an object
Tension Stress that occurs when forces act to stretch an object
Folding The bending of rock layers due to stress
Fault A break in a body of rock along which one block slides relative to another
Uplift The rising of regions of the Eartha??s crust to higher elevations
Subsidence The sinking of regions of the Eartha??s crust to lower elevations

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