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Planet Earth Welcome to planet Earth Although Earths basic structure is similar to several other planets Earth is the only planet that is able to sustain life Actually Earth is unique and special in many ways Why does Earth the third rock from the Sun have the unique ability to allow humankind to thrive on its surface What makes this revolving ball capable of providing an atmosphere so conducive to humankinds needs Earth is the only planet that inhibits life because it meets all the requirements needed to enable life processes Earths Unique Geology The foundation literally for Earths ability to inhabit life is its surface Earth has two crusts seafloor and continental These two crusts are a result of Earths unique process known as plate tectonics ours is the only planet known to have this special feature Radioactive decay keeps Earths center hot which causes plate tectonics These giant conveyor belts of Earths lithosphere recycle seafloor crust which eventually pushes up continental crust Years ago plate tectonics played a large role in the formation of mountain ranges and continents As continent-bearing plates collide the pressure pushes Earths surface up the result of this force creates mountains Plate tectonics continually reshape Earths continents some scientists even speculate that our continents were once one giant continent Earthquakes occur on plate boundaries and occur if plates become stuck while shifting As unsettling as Earthquakes are one enormous benefit they provide scientists with is seismic waves Analysis of these waves offers a complete picture of Earths interior For example we know that our interior is a metal core which is surrounded by a mantle and a rocky crust Other factors that contribute to the shaping of Earths surface are volcanoes and erosion When molten rock makes its way to the surface through the lithosphere a volcanic eruption is inevitable The surface changes that result from volcanic flows depends on the viscosity of the molten lava Volcanism like plate
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