EASC 2112 Earth System
The lively Earth: important features make the Earth unique
Name: Leung Ho Nam, Banson
The Earth is one of the eight planets in the solar system. The planet Earth is emphasized as “the rare Earth” in numerous literatures because of its unique physical conditions and the complicated interactions among all biotic and abiotic systems. Isotope dating indicates the earth was formed approximately from 4.53 to 4.568 Ga, according to isotope used (Allègre et. al., 1995). Despite the precise formation time of the Earth, there is no exact planet formation model that is generally accepted except the minimum mass solar nebula model, MMSN (Canup, 2008). The MMSN model suggested the
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When time passes, the surface of the earth cools and the first land formed. Although land also appears in other planets such as Mars, the crust of the Earth is different. Interestingly, unlike Mars, the Earth surface is not covered by a concrete sphere but a few tectonic plates. Since the Mars is much smaller than the Earth so the cooling effect of Mars is much faster than the Earth. By now, the crust of the Mars has not been renewed for a certain long period. The plate tectonic moves with three strategies, convergency, divergency and transformation. The movement of the plates driven by the underneath semisolid magma (Courteny, 2008). Surface morphology is determined by the way which the tectonic plates move and density of the plates. Tectonic activities, earthquake, mountain-building, volcanic eruption and subduction zone, are restricted along plate boundaries (Courtery, 2008). Volcanic activities and oceanic subduction are extremely important processes to deliver materials from the inner core and renew surface materials respectively. These recycling processes keep providing accessible resources for the living organisms. Atmosphere and ocean formation was also suggested to be related to volcanic activities (Morbidelli, 2000).
Aforementioned that self-spinning of the Earth differentiate substances on Earth. Iron, as a metal that can be magnetized, and with accordingly high atomic mass, moves