The most abundant elements in the earth's crust, illustrated in a detailed graphic

The most abundant elements in the earth’s crust, illustrated in a detailed graph

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The most abundant elements in the earth’s crust, illustrated in a detailed graph

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The most abundant elements in the earth’s crust, illustrated in a detailed graph

The Earth, with its abundance of liquid water and its capacity to harbor and sustain life , it is unique among the known planets. Its innermost layer, the nucleus, represents the 16% of the planet’s volume, while the mantle occupies 84%. Representing the remaining 1% is the crust, a thin layer that varies in depth, from 5 to 70 kilometres.

This rigid layer contains both the oceans and the land masses . Most of the elements are found only in small amounts within the crust, but several are abundant. In total there are 92 natural elements and the earth’s crust contains almost all and provide all the building blocks for humanity.

But even though it is the source of everything we find, it is actually only scratching the surface of our planet. This chart, published by Visual Capitalist with data from WorldAtlas , looks at what elements make up this 1%. The crust comprises approximately a 95% igneous and metamorphic rocks, 4% slate, 0, 75% sandstone and 0, 25% Limestone. Oxygen, silicon, aluminum and iron represent the 86, 1% of its mass, while others 90 elements constitute only the 11, remaining 9%.

More specifically, oxygen represents the 46, 1% crust , silicon a 29, 2%, aluminum 8.2%, iron 5.6%, calcium 4.1%, sodium 2.3%, magnesium 2.3 %, potassium 2%, titanium 0.5% and hydrogen 0.1% Although gold, silver, copper and other base and precious metals are among the most sought after, together they constitute less than 0, 11% of the Earth’s crust by mass.

The most abundant elements in the earth’s crust.

You can see the graphic in its maximum resolution here .

The or xigen is by far the most abundant element in the earth’s crust and represents just under half of the total. It is a highly reactive element that combines with other elements to form oxides. Some examples of common oxides are minerals such as granite and quartz (silicon oxides), rust (iron oxides), and limestone (calcium and carbon oxide).

More than 92% of the earth’s crust is composed of silicate minerals, which converts silicon into the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust . This binds with oxygen to form the most common minerals on Earth. For example, in most places, sand is made up primarily of silica (silicon dioxide), usually in the form of quartz. And silicon is an essential semiconductor used in the manufacture of computer chips and electronics.

Aluminum is the third most common element in the earth’s crust. Due to its strong affinity for oxygen, it is rarely found in its elemental state. Aluminum oxide (Al2O3), aluminum hydroxide (Al (OH) 3), and potassium aluminum sulfate (KAl (SO4) 2) are common aluminum compounds and have a variety of uses, from kitchen roll to the manufacture of rockets.

The fourth most common element in the earth’s crust is iron. It is obtained mainly from the minerals hematite and magnetite. Of all the metals we extract , more than 90% is iron, mainly to make steel , an alloy of carbon and iron. In addition, it is an essential nutrient in the human body.

Calcium makes up about 4.2% of the planet’s crust by weight. In its pure elemental state, it is a silvery-white soft alkaline earth metal. It is never found in its isolated state in nature, but exists in compounds that can be found in a variety of minerals, including limestone (calcium carbonate), gypsum (calcium sulfate), and fluorite (calcium fluoride).

Calcium compounds are widely used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. They are also used as bleaches in the paper industry, as components in cement and electrical insulators, and in the manufacture of soaps.

Going into the interior of the earth

Beyond all that is the mantle of the Earth. It is the thickest layer of our planet (mostly solid) that is between the crust and nucleus . Can be found about 2. 890 kilometers deep and is composed mainly of silicate rocks rich in oxygen, magnesium, aluminum and silicon.

The intense heat from the Earth’s core causes the mantle rock to move slowly, rising and then cooling and sinking again in a continuous cyclical process. Its upper layer, known as the asthenosphere, is below the lithosphere (a region that includes the crust and upper mantle).

The asthenosphere is where both pressure and heat are extreme enough for the rock to flow as a liquid with a viscous caramel-like consistency . Beneath this layer is the lower mantle, also known as the mesosphere, which constitutes approximately the 56% of total volume of the Earth.

The different layers of the Earth’s interior.

And then there is the core. No one has ever traveled to the center of the Earth . In fact, the deepest hole ever dug by mankind reaches approximately only 13 kilometers below the surface e. This incredible depth took about 20 years to be reached . The core is made up of two parts and is made up almost entirely of metals such as iron and nickel. Elements that dissolve in iron, known as “siderophiles” and often labeled “precious metals,” can also be found there.

Its deepest section is the inner core, which is a hot ball, solid and dense iron. It has a radius of about 1. 220 kilometers and is to about 5. 200 degrees with a pressure of about 3.6 million atmospheres (atm). Although these temperatures are well above the melting point of iron, this intense pressure keeps it solid.

The inner core is surrounded by the second part of this layer: a liquid outer core having approximately 2180 miles thick. This region is mainly composed of a nickel-iron alloy and its liquid material rotates faster than the surface of the Earth (but in the same direction).

It is believed that the increased speed of the inner core, causing it to spin an extra time every 1. 000 years, approximately, causes the Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetism in the outer core is approximately 49 times more powerful than on the surface from the earth. Although humanity is constantly making new discoveries, and even traveling into space, there is still much to explore where we are.

Graphics: Visual Capitalist / USGS

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