What is the coat depth

The structure of the earth

Earth crust

The earth's crust is the ground on which we humans stand with our feet. The earth's crust can reach a thickness or depth of 10 to about 30 kilometers, depending on the location and geological formation. It consists of rather firm, brittle rock. After that, a smooth transition into the earth's mantle begins slowly.

In Windisch-Eschenbach, a continental deep drilling program succeeded in drilling to a depth of around nine kilometers. Then the drilling came to a standstill and the material no longer played along. The temperatures were so hot that the measuring devices gave up their work. The temperature can reach 200 to 300 degrees Celsius at a depth of three to five kilometers.


From a depth of 30 kilometers, the rock becomes more plastic and malleable due to high pressure and ever increasing temperatures. The rock can also remain brittle up to a depth of 120 kilometers. Together with the earth's crust, this area is also known as the lithosphere.

The upper mantle area covers a depth of around 120 to 660 kilometers. Geologists call it the asthenosphere. Then begins - separated by a transition zone - the lower cladding area. It extends about 2,900 kilometers deep into the earth's interior. The temperature in this area is already around 2700 degrees Celsius.

Convection movements occur in the earth's mantle. Similar to a lava lamp, rock material inside the earth heats up at greater depths, rises to the earth's crust, cools down in the process and sinks again. Hot rock masses can rise up to three centimeters per year. This moves the continental plates in the earth's crust.

The drift of the continents, the unfolding of mountains and also many volcanic eruptions can be traced back to convection phenomena. The earth's mantle is the engine that keeps the surface of our earth in constant motion.

Outer core of the earth

The boundary layer between the lower mantle and the outer core of the earth is called the "D-layer". It is around 200 kilometers thick and about 3000 kilometers deep. Pressure and temperature rise drastically here. Experts speak of 5000 degrees Celsius. Here the rock begins to become liquid.

It mainly consists of the elements nickel and iron. In this electrically conductive liquid, which is hardly more viscous than water, electrical currents can be amplified by flowing movements and magnetic fields can develop. This is where the earth's magnetic field is created. The outer core of the earth extends to a depth of around 5150 kilometers.

Inner core of the earth

At 6300 degrees and a pressure of 1 bar, like on the earth's surface, iron would be a gas. In the center of the earth (at a depth of 6378 kilometers), however, there is a pressure of 3.5 million bar and even at a temperature of 5000 degrees, nickel and iron then form a solid metal ball that rotates.

The heat in the inner core of the earth arises from the radioactive decay of elements and is the motor for the movements in the earth's interior, for the enormous forces that threaten us in the form of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, but also provide us with energy.