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ZingPath: Earth's Composition

Elements Forming EarthÂ’s Land and Seas

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Earth's Composition

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Elements Forming Earth’s Land and Seas

Earth & Space Science

Learning Made Easy

You get to learn what elements make up the Earth’s land and seas. Then discover how to determine the inner structure of the Earth by using seismic waves.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Recognize that a limited number of the many known elements comprise the largest portion of solid Earth and oceans.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Which elements are most common in Earth's seas and oceans? List them in order from most common to least common.

~ Oxygen is the most abundant element found in Earth's seas and oceans. Hydrogen, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, and potassium can also be found.

Which elements are most common on land? List them in order from most common to least common.

~ Oxygen is the most abundant element found on land. Silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium can also be found.

What happens to the percentage of elements as we dig deeper below the Earth's surface? What do scientists believe to be true of the composition of the Earth's core?

~ The percentage of most elements found below the Earth's surface decreases, with the exception of iron and magnesium. The percentages of iron and magnesium rise. In fact, scientists believe that 90 percent of the mass of the Earth's core is made up of iron and magnesium.

What seven elements make up more than 98 percent of the earth's structure? Which element is the most abundant?

~ Oxygen, iron, hydrogen, silicon, magnesium, calcium, and aluminum make up more than 98 percent of Earth's structure. Oxygen is the most abundant element on Earth.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be able to define abundance, composition of Earth, and core.
Course Earth & Space Science
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary abundance, composition of Earth, core