GED Science Practice Test: The Structure of the Geosphere
The composition of the earth’s geosphere pictured in the diagram below seems complex. On the left side of the diagram, you see the three main layers of the earth—the crust, the mantle, and the core—described mostly by their composition. On the right side of the diagram, you see specific layers, described mostly by their structure. The lithosphere is made up of the crust and the upper part of the mantle. This layer tends to be thinnest under the oceans and in volcanically active continental areas, such as the Western United States. The lithosphere is solid. The asthenosphere is a liquid layer, made up of molten (liquid) rock that flows very slowly. The lithosphere floats on top of the asthenosphere. We are mostly concerned with the lithosphere and asthenosphere in this lesson, though it is also interesting to point out that the outer core, the layer of the earth made of liquid iron and nickel that moves, is responsible for creating the earth’s magnetic fields.
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The core of the earth is made up largely of iron and nickel, along with some other inorganic compounds. It is made up of an outer core, which is liquid, and an inner core, which is solid. The temperature for both the inner core and outer core’s averages around 5500o What is the most likely explanation for why the inner core is solid and the outer core is liquid if they are made of the same components and have the same average temperature?
Use the graphs below to answer questions 2 and 3:
“Extractive industries”, such as mining or drilling for oil, obtain natural resources from the earth’s crust, has become a larger part of many South American countries’ imports. Which country had the largest increase in extracted natural resources as a percent of total exports between 2006 and 2010?
What do you think will eventually happen if all of these countries continue to increase their mining and exporting of extractable resources?