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Inner Core
Earth Structure
Temperature: 5,000°C - 6,000°C
State: Solid
Composition: iron and nickel
The Earth's inner core is a huge metal ball, 2,500km wide. Made mainly of
iron, the temperature of the ball is 5,000°C to 6,000°C ­ that's up to 6,000
times hotter than our atmosphere and scorching enough to make metal melt! The
metal at the inner core stays solid because of the incredible pressure Continental crust is largely composed of granite and is sometimes
surrounding it.…read more

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Alfred Wegener 1880-1930
Glacial deposits Today, glacial deposits formed during the Permo-Carboniferous
plate tectonic Theory
glaciation (about 300 million years ago) are found in Antarctica, Africa, South
America, India and Australia. If the continents haven't moved, then this would
suggest an ice sheet extended from the South Pole to the equator at this time - which
is unlikely as the UK at this time was also close to the equator and has extensive
coal and limestone deposits.…read more

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Wegener believed that as a result of this evidence, a single mass of land used to
exist called Pangaea. One mass of land means that only one sea would exist, too ­
PIoneers of plate tectonics
Panthalassa. Pangaea later split up into two separate continents; Laurasia and
Gondwanaland, with a sea called Tethys in between.…read more

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John Tuzo-Wilson was a Canadian geophysicist John Tuzo-Wilson was initially sceptical of the theory of Plate Tectonics, but eventually became one of its most famous
supporters, proposing two important ideas.
While evidence for Continental Drift was mounting, the theory still hadn't explained why active volcanoes are found many thousands of kilometres from the nearest plate
boundary. In 1963, Tuzo Wilson proposed that plates might move over fixed `hotspots' in the mantle, forming volcanic island chains like Hawaii.…read more

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Chemical composition and plate movement
Chemical composition - 'crust' and 'mantle'
The surface of the Earth is the top of the 'crust' - whether one is under the sea or on land! By and large, the portions of the crust that poke above the sea to form
land consist of 'continental crust'. If you were to drill into this, you would find rock with an overall composition similar to granite - a rock rich in the minerals
feldspar and quartz (aluminium and silicon).…read more

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At divergent plate margins, plates are moving apart
and new lithosphere is being created.
In the oceans, this has produced the mid ocean ridge
Divergent/Constructive plate margins
system, which can also be described as a global range
of underwater mountains. Well known ocean ridges
include the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the East Pacific
Rise, the Juan de Fuca Ridge, and the Galapagos Rise.
Within continents, divergent margins produce rift
valleys such as the Red Sea and East African Rifts;
and the lesser known West Antarctic Rift.…read more

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Convergent/destructive plate boundaries
At convergent plate margins, plates are moving towards one another.
Convergent margins behave differently depending on whether the
lithospheric plates involved are oceanic, continental or one of
each. As oceanic lithosphere cools, it becomes denser, and the
further away from the plate boundary it moves, the thicker it
becomes. At a convergent plate boundary the oceanic lithosphere
sinks beneath the adjacent plate in a process known as `subduction'.…read more


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