What Is The Lithosphere? Layers Of Earth

What Is The Lithosphere? Layers Of Earth

LITHOSPHERE – In this topic, we are going to know and learn about a part of a layer of the earth known as the lithosphere.

Image from: National Geographic

It is the outer most shell of a terrestrial-type planet, or natural satellite. On planet Earth, this zone is what makes of the the top layer of the mantle and the entire crust.

Its term is derived from two ancient Greek words lithos (λίθος ), which means “rocky”, and sphaira (σφαίρα), which means “sphere”, forming the term which means “rocky sphere”.

This zone also constitutes the hard and rigid outer layer of the Earth and is subdivided into tectonic plates.. Its uppermost part, known as pedosphere, reacts to the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere via the soil-forming process.


There are two types:

  • Oceanic
    • This is primarily associated with oceanic crust and exists in the ocean basins. It consists mainly of mafic crust and ultramafic mantle and is denser than the other type.
  • Continental
    • This one, on the other hand, is associated with continental crust. It has a range in thickness from about 40 km to probably 280 kilometers.

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