The Earth and Its Atmosphere- Core Chemistry C1.7

Notes on Core Chemistry "The Earth and Its Atmosphere" chapter 7, including the subtopics:

-Structure of the Earth

-Continental Drift & Alfred Wegener's Theory

-How Life Started on Earth & Miller-Urey Experiment

-The Earth's Atmosphere & How it's Changed.

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The Earth and Its Atmosphere Core Chemistry AQA C1.7
The Structure of the Earth
The Earth has 3 main layers within its structure:
The Core is the inner most layer and is made up of Iron.
The Mantle is the largest layer within the Earth and sits between the Crust and the Core.
Heat within the mantle causes convection currents as heat causes particles to spread,
causing it to become less dense and rise to the surface of the mantle.
The Crust is the outermost layer of the Earth and is where we live. It is broken into
tectonic plates which move a few centimetres each year due to convection currents in the
Tectonic Movement: Earthquakes
and Volcanoes
Earthquakes occur due to tectonic movements when plates move against each other
causing friction. Due to the irregular shapes of plates they may become stuck causing a
buildup of pressure. This pressure is therefore released as seismic waves in the form of an
Earthquakes cannot be predicted as they are almost random occurrences.
Volcanoes are also produced due to tectonic activity, as magma escapes the mantle. Over
time after multiple eruptions, the lava cools to form igneous rock formations to produce
the typical shapes of volcanoes we know today.
Volcanic activity can be monitored but also not predicted.
Continental Drift & Wegener's Theory
Before Wegener's Theory
Prior to Wegener's theory, many scientists wanted to find out how mountains had been
formed as common features of our landscape.
Their theory was that the Earth had once been hot, and as it cooled it shrunk, leaving
mountains almost like wrinkles.

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Wegener's Theory
Alfred Wegener discovered that the coastlines of South America and South Africa almost
perfectly fit together.
He came up with the theory that the continents were once on giant land mass called
Pangea, and that tectonic movement had caused the continents to eventually move
away and separate.
He also found that similar fossils were found in different continents, suggesting that his
theory was correct at the time.…read more

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We still do not know if the gases used in the MillerUrey experiment are the gases found in
the early atmosphere.
It is unknown how these chemicals of early life evolved into cells.
The Earth's Atmosphere
The Changing Atmosphere
The early atmosphere was made up of 98% carbon dioxide and 2% Methane and
Ammonia.…read more

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These changes caused the gases in today's atmosphere to differ from the early
atmosphere as carbon dioxide has been removed from the atmosphere.
The current atmosphere is made up of 79% nitrogen (thought to have been produced from
the ammonia in the early atmosphere), 21% oxygen and <1% other gases.
By burning fossil fuels to produce energy we are releasing the carbon dioxide back into the
atmosphere that had been taken out and stored, leading to climate change and global
warming.…read more


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