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Atmosphere and Geosphere Interactions

Aug 19, 2022
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Key Concepts

  • Earth
  • Geosphere
  • Hydrosphere
  • Atmosphere
  • Biosphere

introductionIntroduction

The earth’s land looks in various natural forms. These forms are called landforms. Mountains are  the tallest landform. Some mountains have steep peaks, while some have gentle slopes. A plain is a flat landform. Plains are huge areas without hills and mountains. 

Various landforms on Earth 
Various landforms on Earth – Mountains
Various landforms on Earth –plains

Various landforms on Earth – Hills
Various landforms on Earth –plateau

Interaction between spheres 

All the spheres of the earth interact with each other. Earths’ spheres do not work individually. The action of one sphere affects the other sphere. In this topic we will discuss the interaction between atmosphere and geosphere. 

parallel

Formation of landforms (Geosphere) by water (hydrosphere): 

Various landforms such as valleys and canyons are formed by water. Very strong force of water can create a deep valley, and in some places, the flow of water can form narrow and V-shaped valleys called canyons. For example, the Grand Canyon. 

Various landforms on Earth – Valley
Various landforms on Earth –canyon

Formation of landforms (Geosphere) by wind (Atmosphere): 

In deserts, generally, a gust of wind piles sand into large mounds and beaches called sand dunes. Winds also combine with water, and flow of water increases, making mountains steep and valleys become deeper. 

parallel
 Sand dunes 

Structure of the earth 

We know that the earth is made up of crust, mantle, inner and outer core. Crust is the outer thinner part of the earth, and mantle lies below the crust. Outer core is a liquid layer present below the mantle. It mostly comprises melted iron. Inner core is the innermost layer of the earth. It consists of solid materials. It is a very hot part of the earth made of mostly iron. Earth’s surface is broken into many big plates of rock. The plates are made up of solid crust layer. The upper mantle layer can flow. When the mantle under the crust flows, plates move. The moving of plates forms various landforms. 

Structure of earth
Structure of tectonic plates 

A growing plate forms a fault-block mountain. If the lifting of plate is spread over a large area, a plateau may form. A plateau is defined as a high landform with a flat top. A bend in the layers of rock is called a fold. If the land keeps on squeezing, a fold forms and becomes a mountain. A mountain is a high landform that rises to a peak. Over a period of time, wind and rain can break off landforms into bits and pieces. 

Plateau 
Plateau 2

Earthquake: It is a sudden shaking of the earth’s crust. It is caused by the movement of tectonic plates at the fault. When plates slide along each other, energy builds up in the rock. This energy comes out in the form of cracks in the ground. It is called an earthquake. Some earthquakes take place below the ocean; this causes a big ocean wave called a tsunami. This event causes lots of damage along coastal lines. 

Earthquak
Tsunami

Weathering: It is the breaking down of rock into smaller pieces. The wind, flowing water are some of the causes of weathering of rock. Erosion is the transport of weathered rock. The factors responsible for weathering are flowing water and wind. Weathering and erosion cause sharp rocky peaks to turn smooth and round. 

Weathering and erosion

Effect of atmosphere on land 

Tornadoes: These are spinning wind. They move across the ground and destroy everything in their path. 

Hurricane: It is a large spinning storm that forms over the warm water of the ocean. The center of the hurricane is called the eye. It is an area of very low pressure. The features of hurricanes are strong winds, clouds, and heavy rains. When a hurricane moves towards the coast, wind and waves force water to pour onto land. Hurricane causes floods and heavy damage to the ecosystem. 

Tornado, hurricane, hurricane – wind and rain

Atmosphere: It is the blanket of air around the earth. Atmosphere is a mixture of gases. Major area of the atmosphere is covered by nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%) and other gases (1%). The other gases include water vapor and carbon dioxide that are essential for earth’s water cycle. Earth’s atmosphere comprises 

 different layers. The layer closest to the earth is the troposphere. In this region, air is always on the move, and wind is a gentle breeze. Weather changes by changes in wind direction. 

Composition of air and layers of earth’s atmosphere

Weather: It is a condition of the atmosphere at a given place and temperature. Temperature tell how hot or cold anything is. When solar energy heats earth’s surface, the air above the surface gets warm and moves up. If the temperature changes, air starts to move and wind blows. The wind speed and wind direction depend upon temperature.  

Humidity: The amount of water vapor in the air is termed humidity. Deserts have very low humidity, whereas rainforests have high humidity. Air contains some amount of water vapor that comes from the evaporation of ocean water. Hence, the air is humid near coastal regions. 

Air pressure: Life is present at the bottom of the troposphere. Here the weight of the atmosphere gets pushed on us. Air pressure is the force of air pushing on an area. Air that has more weight has greater air pressure. The cool air has higher air pressure than the warm air. 

Precipitation: Any form of water such as hail, rain, snow, and sleet that falls from the clouds is called precipitation. 

Water moves from the earth’s surface and water bodies such as oceans, lakes, rivers, streams and ponds into the atmosphere. In the water cycle, water changes from the liquid state to the gaseous, solid and liquid state, i.e, water evaporates from the surface of the earth into the atmosphere in the form of gas. In the atmosphere, water condenses and form clouds. As the number of water droplets increases in the clouds, they fall back to the earth as rain, sleet, hail or snow (precipitation). The sun energy is the source of energy in the evaporation of water. Evaporation of water from leaves is called transpiration.

Summary

• The area of the earth includes various landforms such as hills, canyons, plateaus, mountains, etc.

• Earth’s spheres interact with each other in many ways.

• Water bodies can affect changes in global weather and temperature.

• Various landforms such as valleys, canyons are formed by water.

• Earth is made up of crust, mantle, inner and outer core.

• Tornados and hurricanes affect the ecosystem.

• Sun energy is the source of energy required in the evaporation of water.

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