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 Earths crust and core.
Core The central part of the Earths 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 plates Pieces of the lithosphere that move around on top of the asthenosphere are called Tectonic plates.
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 rises toward the surface and solidifies.
Plate tectonics The theory that explains how large pieces of the Earths outermost layer, called tectonic plates, move and change shape.
Convergent boundary When two tectonic plates collide,nether boundary between them is a convergent boundary.
Divergent boundary When two tectonic plates separate, the boundary between them is a convergent boundary.
Transform boundary When two tectonic plates slide past each other horizontally the boundary between them is a transform boundary.
Compression The type of stress that occurs when an object is squeezed, such as when two tectonic plates collide.
Tension Occurs when two tectonic plates collide.
Folding The bending of rock layers because of stress in the Earths crust.
Fault A break in a body of rock along with one block slide relative to another.
Uplift The rising of regions of the Earths crust to higher elevations.
Subsidence The sinking of regions of the Earths crust to lower elevations.

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