The Earth's Crust is like the skin of an apple. It is very thin in
comparison to the other three layers. The crust is only about 3-5 miles
(8 kilometers) thick under the oceans(oceanic crust) and about 25 miles
(32 kilometers) thick under the continents (continental crust). The
temperatures of the crust vary from air temperature on top to about 1600
degrees Fahrenheit (870 degrees Celcius) in the deepest parts of the
crust. You can bake a loaf of bread in your oven at 350 degrees
Fahrenheit , at 1600 degrees F. rocks begin to melt.
The crust of the Earth is broken into many pieces called plates. The
plates "float" on the soft, plastic mantle which is located below the
crust. These plates usually move along smoothly but sometimes they stick
and build up pressure. The pressure builds and the rock bends until it
snaps. When this occurs an Earthquake is the result!
Notice how thin the crust of the Earth is in comparison to the other
layers. The seven continents and ocean plates basically float across
the mantle which is composed of much hotter and denser material.
Click on the "Next" button to continue your journey through the
interior of the Earth!!