lithosphere (plural lithospheres)

  1. (geology) The rigid, mechanically strong, outer layer of the Earth; divided into twelve major plates.
    • 2001, Neville Price, Major Impacts and Plate Tectonics: A Model for the Phanerozoic Evolution of the Earth's Lithosphere, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), page 28 ↗,
      Then we indicate some of the more pertinent characteristics of oceanic and continental lithospheres.
    • 2002, Donald L. Turcotte, Gerald Schubert, Geodynamics, Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, page 121 ↗,
      When applying Equation (3-74) to determine the downward deflection of the earth's lithosphere due to an applied load, we must be careful to include in q(x) the hydrostatic restoring force caused by the effective replacement of mantle rocks in a vertical column by material of smaller density.
    • 2004, Simon M. Peacock, 20: Insight into the hydrogeology and alteration of oceanic lithosphere based on subduction zones and arc vulcanism, Earl E. Davis, Harry Elderfield (editors), Hydrogeology of the Oceanic Lithosphere, Cambridge University Press, page 665 ↗,
      Active serpentine mud volcanoes observed in the Mariana fore-arc provide dramatic evidence for hydration of the shallow mantle wedge by H2O fluids derived from the subducting lithosphere (Fryer. 1996: Fryer et al., 1999).

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