The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living specie. The concept of the natural environment can be distinguished by components: Complete ecological units that function as natural systems without massive human intervention, including all vegetation, microorganisms, soil, rocks, atmosphere and natural phenomena that occur within their boundaries. Universal natural resources and physical phenomena that lack clear-cut boundaries, such as air, water, and climate, as well as energy, radiation, electric charge, andmagnetism, not originating from human activity. The natural environment is contrasted with the built environment, which comprises the areas and components that are strongly influenced by humans. A geographical area is regarded as a natural environment.
The Earth's layered structure. (1) inner core; (2) outer core; (3) lower mantle; (4) upper mantle; (5) lithosphere; (6) crus.
Earth science generally recognizes 4 spheres, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere as correspondent to rocks, water, air, and life. Some scientists include, as part of the spheres of the Earth, the cryosphere (corresponding to ice) as a distinct portion of the hydrosphere, as well as the pedosphere (corresponding to soil) as an active and intermixed sphere. Earth science(also known as geoscience, the geosciences or the Earth Sciences), is an all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. There are four major disciplines in earth sciences, namely geography, geology, geophysics and geodesy. These major disciplines use physics, chemistry, biology, chronology and mathematics to build a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the principal areas or spheres of the Earth system.
The Earth's crust, or lithosphere, is the outermost solid surface of the planet and is chemically and mechanically different from underlyingmantle. It has been generated largely by igneous processes in which magma (molten rock) cools and solidifies to form solid rock. Beneath the lithosphere lies the mantle which is heated by the decay of radioactive elements. The mantle though solid is in a state ofrheic convection. This convection process causes the lithospheric plates to move, albeit slowly. The resulting process is known as plate tectonics.Volcanoes result primarily from the melting of subducted crust material or of rising mantle at mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes.
Water on Earth
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface (an area of some 362 million square kilometers) is covered by ocean, acontinuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas. More than half of this area is over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) deep. Average oceanic salinity is around 35 parts per thousand (ppt) (3.5%), and nearly all seawater has a salinity in the range of 30 to 38 ppt. Though generally recognized as several 'separate' oceans, these waters comprise one global, interconnected body of salt water often referred to as the World Ocean or global ocean. This concept of a global ocean as a continuous body of water with relatively free interchange among its parts is of fundamental importance to oceanography. The major oceanic divisions are defined in part by the continents, various archipelagos, and other criteria: these divisions are (in descending order of size) the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern...