Earth, Our Environment - Class Notes
Chapter 2, Earth: Origin and Composition - 07
Earth's Internal Heat

The Earth is a heat engine - and is cooling, but it hasn't really cooled too much during geologic time, only about 1000 degrees.

[Study Figure 2.27 on page 41 of the text]

The two primary source of Earth's are:

The main heat producing elements in Earth are

Uranium, Thorium, and Potassium

Unlike the nuclear power in the Sun (fusion), these elements break down by fission - the breaking apart of the nucleus.

[ Study Figure 1.16 from Text ]

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Prepared by: Charles J. Ammon
February 1997