The earth is the third planet, it consists of four subsystems which are commonly known as spheres. these four spheres are the geosphere ( made up of Rocks), hydrosphere (water), and biosphere (Living things).
They are all round like the way the earth is that is why they are generally called spheres, they are interconnected and interact.
So, In this article, we will look at the four main spheres of the earth and how they are interconnected. Let’s look at the four main spheres of the earth in detail how they are the subsystems of the earth and how they are interconnected
About the Geosphere
The geosphere is the outer layer of the earth that is very hard. The word Geo is a Greek word that means ” earth”.
The geosphere is the part of the earth that consists of rocks and all of the earth’s crust solid land. It is also called the lithosphere. no living thing is found in the geosphere, it seems to be abiotic.
The geosphere is constituted by every element that makes up the Earth’s core and crust. examples of geosphere are sand particles, minerals, rocks, mountains, molten magma, etc.
The geosphere goes through a series of processes like the rock cycle such as weathering, metamorphism, erosion, melting, disposition, solidification, and burial are
the major factors that cause the Rocks recycling on planet earth are constantly, linking sedimentary igneous and metamorphic rocks.
Through weathering and transport of rocks that are already in existence, deposition follows, and burial (cementation and compaction) sedimentary rocks are formed.
Cooling and crystallization of molten rock forms igneous and other rocks undergo pressures or heat in this process metamorphic rocks are usually formed.
There are three parts of the geosphere which are the crust, the core, and the Mantle
1. The Crust
This is a segment of the geosphere that consists of different rocks and minerals. it is mostly made up of magnesium, oxygen, sodium, aluminum, iron, calcium, potassium, and silicon. It has multiple layers of hardness such as the oceanic crust which has a dense rock layer and a continental crust which has non-dense rock layers.
2. The Core
This is part of the geosphere that supports the mantle. It consists of two different fragments with multiple densities the outer and the inner core. the inner core is the solid part whose density is 1220km while the outer core is the liquid part with a 2250km density. The core is mainly made of iron.
3. The Mantle
This consists of two layers which are the thin and less dense upper mantle (Known as asthenosphere) and the denser and thicker lower mantle. The upper mantle and the crust join together to form the lithosphere below the crust.
The importance of the geosphere can not be outlooked; it creates impacts on our life by managing the dispensing of minerals, soils, and Rocks. Also, the hazard of nature that makes a land is managed and controlled by the geosphere as its actions where e mountains in the different landforms should be placed and determine the issuing of minerals such as sand, coal mental ore and oil in a different vital location and it also determines where a continent can be located.
The geosphere helps us to discover the hidden treasures that are in the universe, coal, and metal were formed due to the geosphere.
About the Hydrosphere
The hydrosphere is the aggregated water which includes liquid, solid, and gaseous water be it on the earth’s surface, underground, or in the atmosphere.
A planet’s hydrosphere can be in ice, liquid, vapor, or ice form.
The earth’s surface water in rivers, lakes, and oceans is called liquid water, solid water is groundwater below the ground found in aquifers and wells while the water in the atmosphere Is in gaseous form.
The hydrosphere extends from the surface of the earth sinking a long distance into the geosphere surpassing the crust to the air or atmosphere in a vaporous form.
The hydrosphere includes all the gaseous, liquid, and solid water of the planet earth. The hydrosphere stretches from the Earth’s surface downward numerous miles into the lithosphere and high above the crust into the atmosphere.
Most of the water in the atmosphere is in gaseous form and as it increases up into the atmosphere it comprises to form clouds that come down as rain on the earth.
It rains into water bodies and rotates again. Other spheres are also impacted during the water cycle.
The hydrosphere goes through a lot of processes daily. we can comprehend how important the hydrosphere, is and its functionalities through the water cycle.
rivers, lakes, oceans, streams ponds, and seas are storage areas for water all these are part of the hydrosphere. It is very large that it occupied about 71% of the top area of the earth.
Also, the motion of the hydrosphere and water exchange connecting the hydrosphere and cryosphere is based on the hydrologic cycle.
The interchange and consistent movement of water aid in producing currents that move water from the tropic to the poles and control the temperature of the earth.
The vital part of the hydrosphere is the interchanging of water. The hydrosphere majorly constitutes water.
It has been proven that there are also some impurities such as gases, particulates, and dissolved minerals, which result in pollution and end up causing harm to the health of ecosystems.
hydrosphere plays a very important role in our ecosystems, it supplies water that sustains lives.
About 75% of water constitutes the cell of a living organism which help the cell function well. without water, cells won’t function, and no life without it.
Humans are not left out either as they make use of water in different ways. It is used for drinking, cooking washing, cleaning, bathing, and in industries water.
Also, with the aid of hydropower water is used in producing electricity and regulating the temperature of the earth.
Here are the components that made up a hydrosphere
- Surface water
This groundwater is a component of the hydrosphere it consists of a small part of the body water on the Earth, it is below the ground. sources are aquifers, wells, springs, man-made and artesian wells.
2. Surface water
This anybody water that is at the top of the earth, it is above the ground. Sources are streams, rivers, lake sea, and oceans.
This is water that is made up of small quantities of salts solvate, which is different from seawater. Sources are atmospheric water vapor, that goes directly to rivers, lakes, etc
The hydrosphere has changed due to irrigation, wetland, river damming, water pollution, and so on.
Human activities affect the organic flow of water in the hydrosphere which ends up destroying the environment and habitats that are depending the water source.
About the Lithosphere
This is also known as the biosphere and its one of the main spheres of the earth and is also called the ecosphere.
It comprises all ecosystems, globally which encompass every form of life and their relationships, this involves the way they interact with the sphere of the earth such as the hydrosphere, geosphere, and atmosphere.
In simple terms, we can say the biosphere is the space that is on the surface of the earth that enables water air, and land, to interrelate with each other to enhance life.
It varies from pinnacles up to about 12500 meters higher than sea level to depths of a minimum of 8000 meters in the ocean.
The biosphere has been in existence for about 3.5 billion years ago, which means the earth and biosphere are the age.
It is the only sphere on earth where life exists and it is divided into various biomes majorly occupied by fauna and flora.
These biomes are classified by a particular kind of vegetation, climate, and geography, the biomes that are found in the biosphere are deserts, tropical rainforests, oceans, prairies, tundras, and deciduous forests.
The major component that distinguishes biomes on land is latitude.
Biomes that are in the Arctic and Antarctic Circles lack the existence of plants and animals. The biosphere contains more water than land.
The biosphere contains living organisms and their environment. The atmospheric gas, light, rocky substance of the Earth’s crust, and water are non-living components found in the environment.
The biosphere is very important due to the essential role it plays in supporting the existence of organisms and their relationship. A change in the biosphere causes a change in the climate.
It is an essential accumulation in the carbon cycle. It helps the earth to get rid of toxins and hazardous components that could destroy life.
About the Atmosphere
The Atmosphere is also one of the main spheres of the earth. It is a combination of 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, 1% carbon dioxide and other gases. It comprises all the air on Earth.
It ranges from the earth’s crust at about 6200miles beyond the surface of the earth into space.
The atmosphere comprises five layers which are
This is the first layer that is nearest to Earth’s surface, which is below the stratosphere. it is about 5 to 10 miles from the surface. It is the thickest at the equator and slimmer at the North and South Poles. It also consists of the clouds on the earth and is the place where weather occurs and with the altitude.
This is the second layer of the atmosphere of planet Earth that is above the troposphere and below the mesosphere, it is very dry air and consists of drops of water vapor. It is where the Ozone layer is found that safeguard organism in the biosphere from dangerous radiation that comes from the sun.
This is the third layer of the atmosphere it comes before the stratosphere and it is beneath the thermosphere. Its range is from 50 to 85km above the Earth, it decreases the temperature with height and the pinnacle of this layer is where the coldest temperature approximately -90° C (-130° F), is located.
This happens to be the four layers of Earth’s atmosphere it is found at the top of the mesosphere and beneath the exosphere. It ranges from 90 km (56 miles) in the middle of 500 and 1,000 km (311 to 621 miles) above the earth. This layer aids in safeguarding and preserving the Earth and creating an absolute review of space and generating possible space communication.
This is the fifth layer and it is the upper part of the earth’s atmosphere. in this layer, the molecule solidity is too low. it is the thinnest part of the atmosphere where the collision of one or two atoms or molecules occurs. it is at top of the thermosphere and it ranges from 700 – 10,000kms from the earth’s surface.
The atmosphere is very important as it makes the earth’s climate moderate and preserves life from the danger of sun radiation. It keeps the heat from the sun and protects it from going back into space. It also takes part in the water cycle of the earth.
How the Biosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere, and Atmosphere are Interconnected
The atmosphere releases to the geosphere the required heat and energy for erosion or breakdown. The geosphere, successfully, returns the energy from the sun back to the atmosphere.
The biosphere obtains gases and heat (energy) from the atmosphere. It gets water from the hydrosphere and a means of living from the geosphere.
The four spheres are interconnected and be based in one location. For instance, the soil can have minerals that are from the geosphere, vapor that is within the soil from the hydrosphere, insects, and plants from the biosphere dwelling in the soil, and areas of air present linking the soil pieces. from this example, we can see that they are interconnected to support life.
How the Spheres of the Earth Interact
The spheres of the earth are interrelated and interact with each other as the biosphere that does with living organisms on the earth can’t do without gases in the atmosphere for life, they also need water which has to do with the hydrosphere and the minerals which involve the geosphere.
We have successfully looked at the 4 main spheres of the earth, their importance, and how they are interconnected and interact in this article. We can conclude without doubt that they sustain life on earth.
About the 4 Main Spheres of the Earth and their Interactions – FAQs
Which is the Largest Sphere on Earth
- 5 Effect of Ozone Layer Depletion
- 4 Biogas Production Process Steps
- How Does Carbon Capture Work?
- How are Humans Destroying the Earth? See Evidence
- Climate Change / Definition, Causes, Effect and Solutions
Precious Okafor is a digital marketer and online entrepreneur that got into the online space in 2017 and since then have developed skills in content creation, copywriting and online marketing. He is also a Green activist and hence his role in publishing articles for EnvironmentGo