Interesting Facts About the Earth’s Lithosphere

Geosphere is defined as any of the almost spherical concentric regions of the Earth. It is composed of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere. Solid Earth refers to the ‘earth beneath our feet’ or terrra firma; as opposed to atmosphere and hydrosphere, which are Earth’s fluid envelopes.

The lithosphere is the uppermost layer of solid Earth. Sometimes, the terms ‘geosphere’ and ‘lithosphere’ are used synonymously. It is the Earth’s crust which includes the solid outer section. This Buzzle article has collated some interesting facts about the lithosphere.

✦ The lithosphere itself is divided into tectonic plates consisting of the continents

✦ Geologist Joseph Barrell observed the gravity anomalies over the continental crust and put forth the theory of a solid upper crust; which he called the ‘lithosphere’, with an underlying semi-molten layer termed as ‘asthenosphere’.

✦ It is believed that the continents originated from a single landmass known as ‘Pangaea’. The lithosphere broke into different landmasses―the tectonic plates―breaking the Pangaea.

✦ Mantle is the largest layer of Earth (1802 mi thick). It is further divided into upper mantle and lower mantle. The upper part of the mantle is a layer beneath the crust, which is dense and is 31-62 mi

Soil Drainage

When we lay out preferred soil conditions for growing plants, it usually describe moist and well-drained soil. Except for a few plant species, majority of the cultivars cannot tolerate drainage problems. If planted in the same condition, the probable outcomes are root rotting, yellowing of leaves, wilting, increased disease infestations and finally, death of the plants. Thus, understanding and performing the soil drainage test are prerequisites before cultivating crop in a particular area.

Drainage of Soil in Agriculture

In soil science, drainage of soil is studied as the rate at which water passes through soil particles. The quality and fertility of soil matters a lot in getting good crop yield or production of healthy blooms. Soil is not only a supporting medium that allows root growth for the plant, but it serves as a natural habitat for the soil microbes. The microbial population of soil, which encompasses bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, virus, etc., is solely responsible for providing nutrients to the plants. They help in converting complex organic matter into simpler, usable forms for the plant. Thus, maintaining the microbes in active state is crucial for growing luxuriant plants.

Proper soil drainage is an important factor in

Types of Moisture Meters

You must have noticed moisture meters in the hands of people who are into wood work or carpentry. They need it for detection and analysis of moisture in wood, to make out if the wood that they have selected will suit their purpose or not. However, their use is not limited to wood only. Let us take a look at the different types that are used for various purposes.

For Wood
A wood moisture meter works on the principle that, the wood resistance decreases, as dampness of the wood increases. The decrease in the resistance is converted into digital data and the meter displays the percentage of water in the wood. This device consists of two electrodes, which are inserted into the wood, to find out the resistance between them and hence its dampness. For ideal wood work, the amount should be at equilibrium with respect to its surroundings. If the content in wood changes, it may result in a change of the shape of the wood. You must have noticed that when a piece of wood is dried for a long time, it loses its shape. People who are into carpentry, want to avoid this and hence, this

Career Opportunities in Environmental Science

The environment is a wide and complex issue that calls for professionals to solve the issues and problems surrounding it. There is a huge scope in this field as there are a wide range of specializations you can choose from as per your interest area.

Ecology: Being an ecologist involves studying living organisms and their relationship with the environment. An ecologist has to analyze how living organisms interact with each other and their surroundings, and find out ways to keep the interaction in its natural form. The need for trained ecologists is growing immensely. So, if you have a passion to protect Mother Earth, this is definitely for you.

Restoration Ecology: The job of restoration ecologists is closely related to rivers and aquatic habitats. Ecologists have to conduct various research studies to analyze and suggest some methods to restore the river banks and helpful living organisms in the water that are essential for the smooth ecosystem. Monitoring local wildlife and different plant and flower species also come under the purview of a restoration ecologist.

Environmental Chemistry: It can offer some of the most promising career opportunities. As the name suggests, this field studies the effect and relationship between different chemicals and

How to Become an Environmental Scientist

With increased awareness about the environment, the demand for environmental scientists has increased. Environmental scientists study the relationship between humans and the environment, and focus on developing ways to control environmental decay and damage. There are various job roles in the field of environmental science ranging from consulting desk jobs to field research. Individuals working in this field should be passionate about the betterment of the environment so as to make the world a better place to live.

Educational Requirements

While a bachelor’s degree in natural science can get you started in this field, most of the employers nowadays are looking for people who have certifications and advanced course degree from reputed institutions. Environmental scientists need to have sound knowledge of geography, environmental science, chemistry, biology, but their job role also requires them to study mathematics and statistics, as they have to take measurements and collate data from various sources. Some of the best colleges to study environmental science are:
The School of Life Sciences, Stanford University
The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois
The Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley
The Yale University of Forestry and Environmental

History of Forensic Science

The application of scientific methods to examine the evidence gathered in order to solve queries, thereby helping the legal system to acknowledge the truth is known as forensic science. The evidence may range from fingerprints to blood samples, or from a memory card to a hard disk. The word ‘forensic’ was derived from the Latin word ‘forensis’, meaning ‘before the forum’.

Forensic Science History

The first documented use of medical knowledge to solve a crime can be traced to a Chinese book titled Xi Yuan Ji Lu or ‘Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified’, written by Song Ci in 1248. It contained description of how to distinguish death due to drowning from death due to strangulation.

The 18th and 19th centuries saw a great deal of progress in the field of forensic science in Europe. One of the first recorded instances of its application in solving a legal case came in 1784, in England, when a torn piece of paper recovered from the bullet wound in the victim’s head matched the other piece of paper from John Tom’s pocket and led to his conviction.

Fortunatus Fidelis, an Italian doctor, is regarded as the first person to practice modern forensic medicine, way back in

How is Mitochondrial DNA Used in Forensics

Mitochondria (singular – mitochondrion) are organelles responsible to convert the energy from food into simpler energy forms that can be used by the cells. Hence, mitochondria are known as the ‘powerhouses of the cell’. Other than this function, mitochondria are associated with certain cell-specific functions as they contain RNA (ribonucleic acid) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The small circular DNA present in mitochondria is known as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The total mtDNA genome accounts to about 16,000 base pairs, which contributes only a fraction of the total DNA content (about 1 percent) in a cell. Let’s take a look on how mitochondrial DNA is used in forensic studies.

Use of Mitochondrial DNA in Forensics

As far as forensic science is concerned, investigators leave no stone unturned, while solving cases. DNA-based technologies have been used to identify victims of a crime. In such methods, the DNA sequence of individuals or samples available from the crime scenes, also known as DNA fingerprint, is scanned to identify the victim. Most popular and effective DNA technologies that are used in forensics include RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism), PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and STR (short tandem repeat) analysis.

In case of very old biological samples, which are

How was the Earth Formed?

Our planet Earth was formed some 4.5 billion years ago. At the beginning, the Earth was very different from what it is now. There was no atmosphere and no water bodies on the surface of the Earth. It is widely accepted by research scientists that the sun, the planets and their satellites in our solar system were all formed out of solar nebula. We can define solar nebula as a huge mass of spiral cloud made up of dust particles and various types of hot gases.

The key constituent elements of the solar nebula were hydrogen and helium gases and there were some other heavier elements too. Solar nebula began its contraction about 4.6 billion years ago probably because of shock wave caused by stellar explosion in the nearby region. During the contraction process, its temperature came down and it began to rotate very fast. As a result of cooling, shrinking and faster rotation, the outer part of the cloud got detached from the main body. The solar system was formed out of one of these detached rings of the gas cloud. The ring or disk shrank further and the center of the dense cloud heated

When Does Winter Solstice Occur

Even though the December solstice, i.e. the winter solstice in the United States and other regions of the northern hemisphere, has immense scientific and cultural significance, not many people out there actually know what this phenomenon is all about. As per the definition, it is an astronomical event which occurs when the Sun is at its southernmost extreme at the 23.5°S (Tropic of Capricorn) latitude. While this precise moment marks the winter solstice for the northern hemisphere, for the southern hemisphere it is the summer solstice. As weird as it may sound, this can be attributed to the fact that both hemispheres have different seasons at any given time of the year.

While the month of December marks mid-winter for the northern hemisphere, it marks mid-summer for the southern hemisphere. Due to this, people in the northern hemisphere experience winter solstice when people in the southern hemisphere are experiencing summer solstice. The same works other way round when the Sun reaches its northern extreme in June, i.e. people in the northern hemisphere experience summer solstice, while people in the southern hemisphere experience winter solstice. When the Sun is exactly at the equator, which happens twice in a calendar year,

How to Improve Clay Soil

Before delving deep into the matter let’s know what clay soil is. Soil which is compact, retains moisture even when completely drained, and is sticky in nature is known as clay soil. It is often termed as ‘heavy soil’ and it mostly consists of organic matter, minerals, clay, silt, sand, water, and some air. It also retains moisture for a longer period. You can do a simple test in your yard to determine the condition of your soil. Take a handful of the soil. If the soil is sticky and clings to your hand, it is clay soil. Here is another test. For this you will need:
A quart jar
Clean water
A small amount of the soil
Fill 2/3 of the jar with clean water. Now take the soil, place it inside the jar and close the lid tightly. Give it a vigorous shake for a minute or two. See that the soil has broken down at the bottom of the jar. Allow it to settle down for approximately an hour. The sand layer which is the heaviest will settle at the bottom. The silt layer is next, and finally it is the clay layer which will