What is the geosphere

layers of the Earth

The natural sciences divide the different ecosystems of the planet into spheres. One of them is the geosphere. They are called as the set of decades of our planet that make up the solid part of it. Here we can find everything related to rocks and relief. Many people don't know what is the geosphere.

For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you what the geosphere is, what its characteristics, composition and importance are.

What is the geosphere

what is the geosphere

In natural sciences, the set of layers that make up the solid part of the Earth is called the geosphere. Together with the hydrosphere (the aquatic part), the atmosphere (the gaseous part) and the biosphere (all living beings), they constitute the parts of our planet that can be divided analytically.

Like other terrestrial planets (with solid surfaces), the Earth is composed of rocky materials of different properties and exhibits different dynamics, many of which date back to early geologic times or were formed during intense stages of volcanic activity. Many of the oldest known rocks on Earth date from 4.400 billion years ago.

Geologists and other experts study the geosphere through experimental scrutiny of soils, especially where topographical features have exposed the normally hidden surface.

Also, many observations are theoretical or derived from calculations: the mass and volume of the Earth cannot be measured directly, but through other calculable variables, such as gravity or the echo of seismic waves.

Structure and composition

plate movement

The structure of the geosphere is studied from two different perspectives: chemical and geological. Regarding its chemical composition, the geosphere consists of three layers: the crust, the mantle and the core.

  • Cortex (from 0 to 35 km deep). It is the surface rock layer on which we live, and its relatively thin thickness is expected to have an average density of 3,0 g/cm3. This includes the seabed and deep depressions. It is mainly composed of mafic rocks (iron and magnesium silicates), felsic rocks (sodium silicate, potassium silicate and aluminosilicates).
  • Manto (from 35 to 2.890 km deep). It is the thickest layer and is made up of siliceous rocks with an iron content higher than that of the crust. As we go deeper into the mantle, the temperatures and pressures become enormous, reaching a semi-solid state in the rocks that make up the mantle, capable of allowing the tectonic plates to move and cause earthquakes and earthquakes. Due to pressure, the upper part of the mantle is less viscous and more fluid than the lower part, varying in magnitude between 1021 and 1024 Pa.s.
  • Core (from 2.890 to 6.371 km deep). The innermost part of the Earth, where the densest material is found (Earth is the densest planet in the solar system). The Earth's core is further divided into two layers: the outer core (2890 to 5150 kilometers deep) and the inner core (5150 to 6371 kilometers deep), which are composed primarily of iron (80%) and nickel, while elements such as lead and uranium are in short supply.

Instead, from a geological point of view, the geosphere is divided into:

  • Lithosphere (from 0 to 100 km depth). This is the solid part of the geosphere, where the solid rocks are found, and corresponds to the upper part of the crust and mantle. It is divided into a series of tectonic or lithospheric plates, on their edges seismic, volcanic and orogeny phenomena occur.
  • Asthenosphere (100 to 400 km deep). It is formed by semi-solid to ductile solid materials, corresponding to the mantle. The very slow movement that constitutes continental drift occurs there, but as it approaches the core, it loses its properties and becomes as rigid as the lower mantle.
  • Core (from 2.890 to 6.371 km deep). The core, or inner circle, at the end of the lower mantle, is the terrestrial geological part that constitutes the largest mass of the Earth (60% of the total). Its radius is greater than that of Mars (about 3.500 kilometers), with enormous pressure and temperatures above 6.700 ° C. It is composed mainly of iron and nickel, and is divided into a liquid outer core and a solid inner core.

The importance of the geosphere

what is the geosphere and its layers

The geosphere is the oldest part of our planet and all its secrets are kept under lock and key. Geologists are trying to discover the various processes by which it was formed, which also sheds light on the formation of other stars in the solar system and thus the origin of the universe. So is seismology, the science that tries to understand the nature of geology and tectonic movement in order to prevent earthquakes that may occur and prevent them from causing so much damage to humans.

On the other hand, the study of the geosphere goes hand in hand with the understanding of the materials that we can find on Earth, with important implications for various industries, engineering and international trade, and other important fields.

Most important characteristics of each part of the geosphere


The core, as its name suggests, is the deepest part of the Earth and is therefore located in the center of the Earth's sphere. When talking about the core, two parts are usually distinguished:

  • Core
  • External nucleus

The core is the solid part, although that is because it is very dense, as it is also the hottest place on Earth.

The nucleus is mainly made up of heavy elements such as iron, nickel, uranium and gold, as well as many other materials. This is because, due to their weight, during the process of planetary differentiation, these materials end up in the deepest parts of the planet, along with other lighter materials, but being attached to the heavier materials, they are also dragged to the deepest part of the Earth.


Like the core, the mantle is divided into an inner mantle and an outer mantle. However, in the case of the mantle, we are not dealing with a solid structure, but rather a liquid one. In fact, is made up primarily of magma, the hot, sticky material that erupts from a volcano when it comes into contact with the atmosphere, renamed lava.

The mantle has a broader set of materials, so both heavy and light elements can be found. Because it is a liquid structure, it is also a constantly moving structure. This requires so-called geological activity, mainly in earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and plate tectonic activity.


The crust is the solid outer part of the Earth, but this was not always the case. During the formation of the Earth, it gradually cooled and, in fact, continues to cool. The initial heat eventually disperses to the outside of the planet, so the surface layer cools, causing the solid surface to float on top of the liquid mantle, which is able to maintain its temperature thanks to the insulation of the crust.

The crust It is also where the light elements that make up the terrestrial circle accumulate the most.. In fact, it is because of this situation that materials such as iron, lead, uranium or gold are very difficult to find on the earth's surface. In fact, there are only two sources of these heavier materials. They were dragged by lighter materials and left on the Earth's surface during planetary differentiation, or they came to our planet via meteorites and asteroids after the crust solidified, collided with the solid surface, and did not sink or stay in space. the bark

I hope that with this information you can learn more about what the geosphere is and what its characteristics are.

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