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Vital Information About The Earth's Core

Gaynor Borade Sep 26, 2018
The earth's core is the innermost region of the planet. Read on to know more.
The earth's core is both, solid and molten, and is believed to be cooling down gradually.
The iron-nickel composition within is responsible for the electromagnetic field generated around the planet and the consistent seismic activity observed. Earth, the planet we inhabit, is the third from the sun. It is not only the largest terrestrial planet in the solar system, but also ranks in terms of mass, diameter and density.
Our planet is home to millions of living species and is the only planet known to support life. Formed more than 4.50 billion years ago, the biosphere has consistently altered its atmosphere and abiotic conditions. The presence of aerobic organisms, the ozone layer, and the magnetic field, all make the planet unique.

Vital Information

The planet's outer surface or crust is made up of a number of segments or tectonic plates. These plates migrate over the surface, which is covered by 71% water and 29% land. The interior is persistently active and homes a layer of solid mantle, liquid outer, and an inner core that is concentrated in iron content.
This is the reason behind the magnetic field generated around the planet. The planet's mineral resources, biosphere components, their interdependency, and the presence of water are responsible for the survival of life forms.

Composition

The earth is an oblate spheroid. It is a sphere that bulges around the equator.
With a mass of 5.98 × 1024 kg, the planet is composed of iron, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, sulfur, nickel, calcium, aluminum, and traces of other elements. The core is mainly composed of iron, nickel, and sulfur. Its interior is subdivided into chemical and physical layers, each with its own unique properties.
The solid outer crust is held in place by a solid mantle that is viscous in nature. Beneath this mantle region, lies a liquid, outer part that protects a solid, inner, molten one that displays angular velocity. These two layers make up the total core of the planet.

How Hot Is the Core?

The inner center of our planet has a temperature that could rise beyond 10,340.33°F and the generated pressure could build up to more than 300 GPa. Volcanic activity and seismic waves contribute to and arise from these extreme conditions. It is about 1,220 km in radius, and primarily comprises an iron-nickel alloy.
The temperature within it is believed to be similar to that on the sun's surface. Very little is actually known about its inner part. It is believed that the region is gradually cooling to a homogeneous, clean layer.
However, seismologists reveal that it enables the passage of seismic waves rapidly, in all directions. The molten inner center is believed to be composed of layers. Each of these is separated by some sort of transition zone.

Why Is the Core So Hot?

The outer center does not have the ability to allow shear waves to pass through, and hence, compressional waves are generally observed in the region. The composition of the inner part, a nickel-iron alloy, is what makes the region very hot.
These elements keep heating at the high temperature 'locked' within, with even the iron content melting at the dramatically high pressure generated. Research reveals that there is a super-rotation of seismic waves within the inner crux, and this property is responsible for one degree of extra rotation every year.
The composition and trapped heat within the region is what generates a magnetic field due to a dynamo action. The dynamo action is generated within the liquid, outer surface.
This was a short summary about the earth's core. It is important to know about this topic in order to have general awareness about our planet and the problems it is facing.