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Earth Materials

TermDefinition
Compositional Layers Structural layers of Earth defined by the materials from which they are made.
Mechanical Layers Structural layers of Earth defined on the basis of how materials act.
Inner Core The innermost layer of earth, composed of solid nickel and iron. It is shaped like a sphere and is the hottest region of Earth.
Outer Core A layer of liquid rock (mostly liquid iron and nickel) that lies beneath the mantle.
Mantle The region inside the Earth between the core and the crust.
Crust The outermost layer of Earth, made up of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks that are mostly solid.
Asthenosphere The somewhat fluid portion of the mantle upon which the lithosphere is located.
Lithosphere The solid and rigid outer layer of the Earth consisting of the crust and the solid portion of the upper mantle; positioned between the atmosphere and the asthenosphere.
Rock Cycle The continual process by which rocks can be changed into different types of rock.
Metamorphic Rock A type of rock formed when igneous or sedimentary rocks are put under intense heat and/or pressure in the Earth's crust.
Igneous Rock A type of rock formed when crystalized through melting and cooling rock.
Sedimentary Rock A type of rock formed through the accumulation, compaction, and cementation of sediment.
Cementation Process of binding and hardening sediments into hard rock.
Compaction Process by which overlying pressure from rocks and soil reduces the size or volume of sediments.
Core The central region of the Earth; Primarily made of nickel and iron.
Plasticity The quality of being easily shaped or molded.