6 January 2014


The lithosphere is the outer solid part of the earth, including the crust and uppermost mantle. It is about 100 km thick, although its thickness is age dependent.
a) Oceanic lithosphere
The lithosphere is composed of crust and hard upper mantle. The oceanic lithosphere would be hard upper mantle and basaltic oceanic crust.
b) Subducted lithosphere
It  is a relatively thin layer, 50-100 km thick under the oceans, 150 km thick on the continents.
The lithosphere is composed of the upper crust, 5 km thick in the oceans and 65 km thick on the continents, and the upper mantle, which makes up the remainder.
c) Mantle xenoliths
Mantle xenoliths provide unique information about the chemistry and mineralogy of deep lithospheric rock types.

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