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crust

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Earth
Article
EDUCATION

Earth

Earth is the planet we live on, the third of eight planets in our solar system and the only known place in the universe to support life.

  • Best for: Grades 6+ (ages 11+)
  • Concepts: atmosphere, axes, biosphere, carbon cycle, core, crust, earth, geology, hydrosphere, lithosphere, mantle, moons, rotation, water cycle
Earth's Interior
Article
EDUCATION

Earth's Interior

Dig deep—really deep—with our gallery of illustrations and a downloadable poster of Earth's interior.

  • Best for: Grades 4-12 (ages 9-18)
  • Concepts: core, crust, earth, geology, mantle
fold mountain
Article
EDUCATION

fold mountain

Fold mountains are created where two of Earth’s tectonic plates are pushed together. 

  • Best for: Grades 5+ (ages 10+)
  • Concepts: continents, crust, fold mountains, folds, geology, orogeny, plate tectonics
rift valley
Article
EDUCATION

rift valley

A rift valley is a lowland region that forms where Earth’s tectonic plates move apart, or rift.

  • Best for: Grades 6+ (ages 11+)
  • Concepts: continents, crust, geology, lakes, landscape, plate tectonics, rift valleys, seafloor spreading, valleys
seafloor spreading
Article
EDUCATION

seafloor spreading

Seafloor spreading is a geologic process in which tectonic plates—large slabs of Earth's lithosphere—split apart from each other.

  • Best for: Grades 6+ (ages 11+)
  • Concepts: crust, geology, mid-ocean ridges, ocean, plate tectonics, rift valleys, rocks, seafloor spreading, subduction
crust
Article
EDUCATION

crust

The crust is the outermost layer of Earth.

  • Best for: Grades 5+ (ages 10+)
  • Concepts: crust, earth, geology, layers, ocean, plate tectonics, rocks, subduction
lithosphere
Article
EDUCATION

lithosphere

The lithosphere is the solid, outer part of the Earth, including the brittle upper portion of the mantle and the crust.

  • Best for: Grades 4+ (ages 9+)
  • Concepts: crust, geology, lithosphere, mantle, plate tectonics, rocks
hot spot
Article
EDUCATION

hot spot

A hot spot is a region deep within the Earth’s mantle from which heat rises by convection.

  • Best for: Grades 5+ (ages 10+)
  • Concepts: crust, geology, hot spots, magma, mantle, seamounts, volcanoes
magma
Article
EDUCATION

magma

Magma is a mixture of molten and semi-molten rock found beneath the surface of the Earth.

  • Best for: Grades 7+ (ages 12+)
  • Concepts: crust, eruptions, igneous rock, lava, magma, mantle, plate tectonics, pressure, viscosity, volcanoes
bedrock
Article
EDUCATION

bedrock

Bedrock is the relatively hard, solid rock beneath surface materials such as soil and gravel

  • Best for: Grades 5+ (ages 10+)
  • Concepts: bedrock, crust, engineering, geology, stratigraphy
1985 Earth's Dynamic Crust
Image
EDUCATION

1985 Earth's Dynamic Crust

Explore the forces behind the shaping of our planet with this fascinating map. This map explains the various forms of tectonic activity, such as hot spots, accretion, subduction, and seafloor spreading, and includes the locations of volcanoes and the earthquakes of 6.0 magnitude or greater which occ...

  • Best for: Grades 4+ (ages 9+)
  • Concepts: accretion, crust, earthquakes, faults, hot spots, seafloor spreading, subduction, tectonic activity, volcanoes
geyser
Article
EDUCATION

geyser

A geyser is a rare kind of hot spring that is under pressure and erupts, sending jets of water and steam into the air

  • Best for: Grades 4+ (ages 9+)
  • Concepts: crust, eruptions, geothermal energy, geysers, hot springs, lithosphere, steam, vents, water