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Geosciences LibreTexts

Earth's Interior

Geologists cannot see directly into the interior of the Earth. They have to rely on various techniques and methods to infer the appearance and physical characteristics of earth’s interior. In this section, we will see how the Earth is structured, what the physical characteristics are, and just how this impacts us living on the Earth. The Earth’s interior is the basis for geology. If you recall from the Plate Tectonics section, earth exists as we see it today because of plate tectonics. We also learned how plate tectonics is important in the formation of rock, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes. Studying the interior of the Earth helps learn about all of these and the processes that helped create the Earth and currently drive plate tectonics.

Thumbnail: Earth cutaway from core to crust, the asthenosphere lying between the upper mantle and the lithospheric mantle. Image used with permission (Public Domain; Anasofiapaixao).