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A mantle is a layer inside a
planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Lat ...
bounded below by a
core Core or cores may refer to: Science and technology * Core (anatomy) In common parlance, the core of the body is broadly considered to be the torso. Functional movements are highly dependent on this part of the body, and lack of core muscular dev ...
and above by a crust. Mantles are made of
rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compound, chemical composition and the way in w ...
or
ice Ice is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known forms of , eve ...
s, and are generally the largest and most massive layer of the planetary body. Mantles are characteristic of planetary bodies that have undergone
differentiation Differentiation may refer to: Business * Differentiation (economics), the process of making a product different from other similar products * Product differentiation, in marketing * Differentiated service, a service that varies with the identity o ...
by
density The density (more precisely, the volumetric mass density; also known as specific mass), of a substance is its per unit . The symbol most often used for density is ''ρ'' (the lower case Greek letter ), although the Latin letter ''D'' can also ...

density
. All
terrestrial planets A terrestrial planet, telluric planet, or rocky planet, is a planet that is composed primarily of silicate Rock (geology), rocks or metals. Within the Solar System, the terrestrial planets accepted by the IAU are the inner planets closest to the Su ...
(including
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
), a number of
asteroids An asteroid is a minor planet A minor planet is an astronomical object in direct orbit In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an physical body, object, such as the trajectory of a planet around a star or a ...

asteroids
, and some planetary
moons A natural satellite, or moon, is, in the most common usage, an astronomical body that orbit In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an physical body, object, such as the trajectory of a planet around a star or ...

moons
have mantles.


Earth's mantle

The
Earth's mantle Earth's mantle is a layer of silicate mineral, silicate rock between the Earth's crust, crust and the Earth's outer core, outer core. It has a mass of 4.01 × 1024 kg and thus makes up 67% of the mass of Earth. It has a thickness of making up a ...
is a layer of silicate rock between the crust and the
outer core Earth's outer core is a fluid layer about thick and composed of mostly iron Iron () is a chemical element with Symbol (chemistry), symbol Fe (from la, Wikt:ferrum, ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal that belongs to the first transi ...
. Its mass of 4.01 × 1024 kg is 67% the mass of the Earth. It has a thickness of making up about 84% of Earth's volume. It is predominantly solid but in
geological time The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological datingChronological dating, or simply dating, is the process of attributing to an object or event a date in the past, allowing such object or event to be located in a previously establish ...

geological time
it behaves as a
viscous The viscosity of a fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or external force. Fluids are a Phase (matter), phase of matter and include liquids, Gas, ...

viscous
fluid In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular s ...
. Partial melting of the mantle at
mid-ocean ridge A mid-ocean ridge (MOR) is a seafloor mountain system formed by plate tectonics File:Earth cutaway schematic-en.svg, upright=1.35, Diagram of the internal layering of Earth showing the lithosphere above the asthenosphere (not to scale) Plate ...
s produces
oceanic crust The oceanic crust is the uppermost layer of the oceanic portion of the tectonic plates This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust i ...
, and
partial melting Partial melting occurs when only a portion of a solid is melted. For mixed substances, such as a rock containing several different mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound wi ...
of the mantle at
subduction zones Subduction is a geological process in which the oceanic lithosphere A lithosphere ( grc, λίθος [] for "rocky", and [] for "sphere") is the rigid, outermost shell of a terrestrial planet, terrestrial-type planet or natural satellite. On ...
produces continental crust.


Other planetary mantles

Mercury Mercury usually refers to: * Mercury (planet) Mercury is the smallest planet in the Solar System and the closest to the Sun. Its orbit around the Sun takes 87.97 Earth days, the shortest of all the Sun's planets. It is named after the Roman g ...

Mercury
has a silicate mantle approximately 490 km thick, constituting only 28% of its mass. silicate mantle is approximately 2800 km thick, constituting around 70% of its mass. silicate mantle is approximately 1600 km thick, constituting ~74–88% of its mass, and may be represented by
chassignite A Martian meteorite is a rock that formed on Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, being larger than only Mercury (planet), Mercury. In English, Mars carries the name of the Mars (myt ...
meteorites.


Moons with mantles

moons Io,
Europa Europa may refer to: Places *Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regard ...
, and have silicate mantles; Io's ~1100 km silicate mantle is overlain by a volcanic crust, Ganymede's ~1315 km thick silicate mantle is overlain by ~835 km of ice, and Europa's ~1165 km silicate mantle is overlain by ~85 km of ice and possibly liquid water. The silicate mantle of the
Earth's moon The Moon is Earth's only Claimed moons of Earth, proper natural satellite. At one-quarter the diameter of Earth (comparable to the width of Australia), it is the largest natural satellite in the Solar System relative to the size of its plane ...

Earth's moon
is approximately 1300–1400 km thick, and is the source of . The lunar mantle might possibly be exposed in the
South Pole-Aitken basin South is one of the cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to east an ...
or the . The lunar mantle contains a seismic discontinuity at ~500 km depth, most likely related to a change in composition.
Titan Titan most often refers to: * Titan (moon), the largest moon of Saturn * Titans, a race of deities in Greek mythology Titan or Titans may also refer to: Arts and entertainment Fictional entities Fictional locations * Titan in fiction, fictional ...
and
Triton Triton commonly refers to: * Triton (mythology), a Greek god * Triton (moon), a satellite of Neptune Triton may also refer to: Biology * Triton cockatoo, a parrot * Triton (gastropod), a group of sea snails * ''Triton'', a synonym of ''Triturus'', ...

Triton
each have a mantle made of
ice Ice is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known forms of , eve ...

ice
or other solid volatile substances.


Asteroids with mantles

Some of the largest
asteroids An asteroid is a minor planet A minor planet is an astronomical object in direct orbit In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an physical body, object, such as the trajectory of a planet around a star or a ...

asteroids
have mantles; for example, Vesta has a silicate mantle similar in composition to
diogenite Diogenites are a group of the HED meteorite clan, a type of achondritic stony meteorite A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage t ...
meteorites.


See also

*
Earth's internal heat budget Earth's internal heat budget is fundamental to the thermal history of the Earth. The flow of heat from Earth's interior to the surface is estimated at 47±2 terawatts (TW)Davies, J. H., & Davies, D. R. (2010). Earth's surface heat flux. Solid Ear ...
* Lehmann discontinuity * Mantle xenoliths *
Mantle convection Mantle convection is the very slow creeping motion of Earth's solid silicate mantle caused by convection Convection is single or multiphase fluid flow that occurs spontaneously due to the combined effects of material property heteroge ...
* Mesosphere (mantle) * Numerical modeling (geology) * Primitive mantle


References


Further reading

* Don L. Anderson
''Theory of the Earth''
Blackwell (1989), is a textbook dealing with the Earth's interior and is now available on the web. Retrieved 2007-12-23. * * Nixon, Peter H. (1987). Mantle xenoliths: J. Wiley & Sons, 844p., (). * Donald L. Turcotte and
Gerald Schubert Gerald and Geraldine are male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot sexual reproduction, reproduc ...
, Geodynamics,
Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (CUP) is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowled ...
, Third Edition (2014), (Hardback) (Paperback)


External links


The Biggest Dig: Japan builds a ship to drill to the earth's mantle
– Scientific American (September 2005)
Information on the Mohole Project
{{DEFAULTSORT:Mantle (Geology) Structure of the Earth Planetary geology