Earth, Our Environment - Class Notes
Chapter 2, Earth: Origin and Composition - 08
Cooling Earth

Some basic facts about heat:

[ Study Figure 2.25 on page 40 of the text ]

Conduction is a slow way to transfer heat and dominates in Earth's lithosphere because the rocks there are too cool to flow quickly enough to transfer heat.

Convection is an efficient way to cool off by forming currents of hot and cold material. Earth's outer core and mantle are two separate convecting systems.

Plate Tectonics is a Consequence of Convection


Another method of heat transmission in Earth is the formation of plumes. The exact nature of plumes is unknown, some believe they arise from the core-mantle boundary, others favor a shallower source.

[Study Figure 2.26 on page 41]

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Prepared by: Charles J. Ammon
February 1997