[lith-uh-sfeer] /ˈlɪθ əˌsfɪər/

noun, Geology.
the solid portion of the earth (distinguished from , ).
the crust and upper mantle of the earth.
the rigid outer layer of the earth, having an average thickness of about 75 km and comprising the earth’s crust and the solid part of the mantle above the asthenosphere

“solid part of the earth’s surface,” 1881; see litho- “stone” + sphere.

The outer part of the Earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle. It is about 55 km (34 mi) thick beneath the oceans and up to about 200 km (124 mi) thick beneath the continents. The high velocity with which seismic waves propagate through the lithosphere suggests that it is completely solid. Compare asthenosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere.

lithosphere [(lith-uh-sfeer)]

The outer layer of the Earth, comprising the crust and the upper part of the mantle. The lithosphere is about sixty miles thick.


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