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What is the Structure of the Earth?

The waves from earthquakes that travel through the Earth
give information about the structure of the inside of the planet.
A picture of the structure of the Earth is shown below.

Structure of the Earth

The outer crust (called the lithosphere) is made from solid rock.

The mantle is made from hot solid rock which can
flow only very very slowly.
The mantle behaves more like a solid than a liquid.
The mantle goes down nearly half way to the Earth's centre.

The density of the rocks which are found in the Earth's
is lower than the density of the planet as a whole.
This means that the core of the Earth must be made
from a material that is more dense than rock. It is
believed that the core is made from a mixture of iron
and nickel. The outer core is liquid, the inner core is solid.

Waves that travel through the Earth change direction
as they meet the different layers (see the next page).

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