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Secondary I • 2yr.

Good morning! I have a hard time distinguishing the lithosphere, the continental lithosphere, the oceanic lithosphere, landforms and the natural resources of the lithosphere. Can you help me?


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.

    Thank you for your question!

    The common denominator between all the words you mention is the lithosphere. Let's define this one first.

    The lithosphere is the solid outer layer of planet Earth. It includes the earth's crust and the upper part of the mantle. The earth’s crust is the part composed mainly of rocks on which we live. It is between 30 and 100 km thick. The upper part of the mantle is another mostly solid layer, located just below the earth's crust, and whose thickness varies between 550 and 700 km.

    There are two types of lithosphere: oceanic lithosphere and continental lithosphere. Oceanic lithosphere is found under the ocean. It is thinner than the continental lithosphere. Continental lithosphere is what makes up all the continents (those which are not submerged by the ocean). It is thicker than the oceanic lithosphere, and it is on it that we live.

    Earth’s surface does not have a uniform “texture”. Indeed, in some places, the surface is higher, pointier, flatter, or hollower than in others. All these variations in Earth’s surface texture are what make up relief.

    Relief is the set of textures that the surface of the Earth bears. Some examples of relief are mountains, valleys, plains, crevasses, canyons, shields, hills, plateaus, etc.

    Lastly, the lithosphere contains several natural resources (all those that do not come from the biosphere, the hydrosphere or the atmosphere):

    • The natural resources of the lithosphere include mineral and petroleum resources (including the ores and minerals used in producing nuclear energy), geothermal energy resources, construction resources (such as sand and gravel), and agricultural resources (such as various types of fertilizers and fertile land).

    I hope this answers your question :)

    Don't hesitate to ask other questions!

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