Layers of the Earth

The Earth is made up of four major layers. Each layer has different properties and temperatures.

  • Crust – The crust is the outermost layer. It is thin and composed of rocks and minerals. It contains the solid ground we walk on.
  • Mantle – The mantle is a layer of hot, semi-solid rocks below the crust. It is about 1,800 miles deep and contains the tectonic plates that cause earthquakes.
  • Outer Core – The outer core lies below the mantle and comprises liquid iron and nickel. These molten metals generate the Earth’s magnetic field.
  • Inner Core – The inner core is at the center of the Earth. It is a solid sphere made of iron and nickel mainly. 

Center of the Earth – Inner Core

Geoscientists study the inner core through seismic waves produced by earthquakes, lab experiments, and computer modeling.

  • Size – The distance from the center of the inner core to its outer boundary is 760 miles.
  • Temperature – The hottest part of the core reaches 6000 degrees Celsius, which is hotter than the Sun’s surface.
  • Composition – Apart from iron and nickel, small amounts of silicon, oxygen, and sulfur are present too.

Fun Fact

Here are some interesting facts about the Earth’s layers

  • Life on Earth is impossible without the magnetic field created by the Outer Core, which acts as a protective shield that deflects harmful solar winds and cosmic rays. 
  • Despite scorching temperatures, the inner core remains solid due to the immense pressure at that depth. It provides stability to the planet.
  • Inge Lehmann was the scientist who discovered the existence of the Earth’s solid inner core in the 1930s. 
  • The inner core has precious metals like gold and platinum. There is enough gold in the inner core to cover Earth’s surface 1.5 feet thick.


Let’s quickly recap what we learned in our journey to the center of the Earth

  • What is the layer of the Earth on which all life exists? Crust
  • What is the layer of hot, semi-solid rocks below the crust called? Mantle
  • Which layer generates the Earth’s magnetic field? Outer Core
  • Which layer is a solid sphere made of iron and nickel? Inner Core
  • What is the hottest temperature at the core of the Earth which exceeds the Sun’s surface temperature? 6000 Degrees Celsius
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