Lithosphere

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Lithosphere'

Lithosphere Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    lithosphere n : the solid part of the earth consisting of the crust and outer mantle [syn: geosphere]
Lithosphere Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Lithosphere \Lith"o*sphere\, n. [Litho- + sphere.] (Phys. Geog.) (a) The solid earth as distinguished from its fluid envelopes, the hydrosphere and atmosphere. (b) The outer part of the solid earth, the portion undergoing change through the gradual transfer of material by volcanic eruption, the circulation of underground water, and the process of erosion and deposition. It is, therefore, regarded as a third mobile envelope comparable with the hydrosphere and atmosphere.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Lithosphere'


The lithosphere (pronounced /ˈlɪθəsfɪər/, from the Greek λίθος outermost shell of a rocky planet. It comprises the crust and the portion of the upper mantle that behaves elastically on time scales of thousands of years or greater.

In the Earth, the lithosphere includes the crust and the uppermost mantle, which constitute the hard and rigid outer layer of the Earth. The lithosphere is underlain by the asthenosphere, the weaker, hotter, and deeper part of the upper mantle. The boundary between the lithosphere and the underlying asthenosphere is defined by a difference in response to stress: the lithosphere remains rigid for very long periods of geologic time in which it deforms elastically and through brittle failure, while the asthenosphere deforms viscously and accommodates strain through plastic deformation. The lithosphere is broken into tectonic plates. The uppermost part of the lithosphere that chemically reacts to the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere through the soil forming process is called the pedosphere.

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Lithosphere Sample Sentences in News


  • Pacific plate shrinking as it cools: Calculations challenge assumptions about rigid lithosphere
    The tectonic plate that dominates the Pacific "Ring of Fire" is not as rigid as many scientists assume, according to researchers at Rice University and the University of Nevada. Read more on this news related to 'Lithosphere'

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