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The continents include Eurasia (conventionally regarded as two continents, Europe and Asia), Africa, North America, South America, Australia, and Antarctica...... The continents are composed of rock types collectively called sial, a classification based on their densities and composition. Beneath the ocean basins and the sial of continents lie denser rock types called sima. The outer core is thought to be the source of the earth's magnetic field: In the "dynamo theory" advanced by W. The magnetic field undergoes periodic reversals of its polarity on a timescale that ranges from a few thousand years to 35 million years. Of the planets, only Mercury and Venus are nearer to the sun; the mean distance from the earth to the sun is c.93 million mi (150 million km). The earth rotates from west to east about a line (its axis) that is perpendicular to the plane of the equator and passes through the center of the earth, terminating at the north and south geographical poles. ) when all parts of the earth have equal day and night. Studies of the refraction and reflection of seismic waves propagating through the Earth show that it consists of three main internal layers: the crust, mantle, and core. When the northern end of the earth's axis is tilted away from the sun, the least direct sunlight falls on the Northern Hemisphere. The earth is estimated to be about 4.54 billion years old, based on radioactive dating of lunar rocks and meteorites, which are thought to have formed at the same time. The crust has a thickness of about 30–40 km under the continents (but much thicker beneath mountains) and an average of 6 km under the oceans. It consists largely of sedimentary rocks, such as limestone and sandstone, resting on a base of igneous rocks, such as granite (under the continents) and basalt (under both the continents and oceans).
It is insoluble in water and organic liquids and very slightly soluble in strong acids and alkalies. fuller's earth,mineral substance characterized by the property of absorbing basic colors and removing them from oils.
Presumably the rocks in this region are very close to melting, and the zone represents a fundamental boundary between the moving crustal plates of the earth's surface and the interior regions.
The molten magma that intrudes upward into crustal rocks or issues from a volcano in the form of lava may owe its origin to radioactive heating or to the relief of pressure in the lower crust and upper mantle caused by earthquake faulting of the overlying crustal rock.
The path of this revolution, the earth's orbit, is an ellipse rather than a circle, and the earth is consequently nearer to the sun in January than it is in July; the difference between its maximum and minimum distances from the sun is c.3 million mi (4.8 million km). A summary of the Earth's orbital and physical characteristics are given in Table 1, backmatter.
This difference is not great enough to affect climate on the earth. The Earth has a substantial atmosphere, mainly of nitrogen and oxygen, and a magnetosphere linked to a magnetic field.
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The abrupt disappearance of direct compressional earthquake waves, which cannot travel through liquids, at depths below c.1,800 mi (2,900 km) indicates that the outer 1,380 mi (2,200 km) of the core are molten.