Chapter

The Warmth of the Earth

E. C. Pielou

in The Energy of Nature

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780226668062
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226668055 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226668055.003.0013
The Warmth of the Earth

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Not all the earth's energy comes from sunlight. A small fraction — one part in four or five thousand — comes from the earth's internal heat. This is the energy that shifts tectonic plates and that powers earthquakes and volcanoes. It heats rocks to temperatures high enough to change them to metamorphic rocks — limestone to marble, for example, and granite to schist. It drives the circulation of liquid iron in the earth's core, which makes the whole earth a magnet. It heats hot springs and geysers. This chapter discusses the following: atomic nuclei; the binding together of nuclear particles; nuclear fusion; and nuclear fission.

Keywords: internal heat; earthquakes; atomic nuclei; nuclear particles; nuclear fission; nuclear fusion

Chapter.  3858 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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