• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Origins of the Earth.

Extracts from this document...


Lena Tran 11A

The Origins of the Earth


Since ancient times, the Earth’s age has been estimated many times, which vary with great length – some from 6000 to millions of years. It wasn’t until 1953 when two scientists, Clair C. Patterson and F.G. Houtermans found evidence which proved the Earth’s age to be approximately 4.6 billion years. I will concentrate on how the Earth was created, the atmospheric changes and other important factors relating to the origins of the Earth.

The Beginning

There are many theories on how the universe, made up of many solar systems, stars and planets, was created. There is the religious belief, claiming that God was the one who created the Universe and there is the scientific belief of “The Big Bang”. This was the theory that billions of years ago, all matter was compressed into one extremely dense spot which suddenly “exploded” and caused it to expand. Evidence for this is that scientists have observed the movements of the planets and galaxies, and they have found that they are moving away from each other. This means that there must have been some force at the centre of the universe – like a big bang. This was approximately 15 billion years ago.

...read more.


Most of the carbon from the carbon dioxide in the air became locked up in sedimentary rocks as carbonates and fossil fuels. Carbon also dissolved into the oceans. This, along with the photosynthesis, slowly reduced the levels of carbon dioxide.

The ammonia and methane (from the eruptions of the volcanoes) were now in the atmosphere and reacted with the oxygen to create nitrogen.

The oxygen from the photosynthesis was taken out again as soon as it had been produced. This was because of the reactions with other elements, such as iron. This continued until about 2.1 billion years ago when the concentration of oxygen increased markedly.

The oxygen levels built up until it created the ozone layer. The ozone layer filtered out the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun which allowed the evolution of new living organisms to develop.

The Earth’s atmosphere now is:

  • 21% Oxygen
  • 78% Nitrogen
  • 0.04% Carbon Dioxide
  • 0.9% Argon

Underneath the Earth

As the Earth condensed, it heated up and began to melt. The impacts from meteorites added to the increasing heat. Molten rocks separated to form a crust, mantle, outer core and inner core.

The crust is the surface layer.

...read more.


At transform–fault boundaries, the plates move horizontally past each other. This causes

the plates to scrape across each other which then creates earthquakes.

This is the reason why earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are more likely to be found at the boundaries of the plates.image04.png

This picture shows the boundaries of the plates. England is on the Eurasian plate.

Evidence for this theory is the shape of the world itself. Some parts (such as Africa and South America) look like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – they look like they were once joined. We have also found the same fossils on the coast of West Africa and East South–America.


In this piece of writing, I have learnt how the earth was created 4.6 billion years ago and how it was formed. I have also learnt the evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere, from being toxic to habitable. I now know the structure of the Earth in more detail and that the movements of the Tectonic plates. 250 million years later, The Earth will be a very different place from how it is now. Because the tectonic plates are moving away from each other, they will eventually collide once again and cause another pangea. This is an image of how it may look like.


Page  of

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Earth and Beyond section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Earth and Beyond essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    My project this year is based on the solar system. In my project I ...

    4 star(s)

    Neptune has a blue atmosphere of clouds and gases like hydrogen and helium. It has a rocky core about as large as the Earth. Neptune has three rings and 8 moons. Six of these moons were discoveres by Voyager 2 which flew past Neptune in 1989.

  2. Naina The Big Bang

    Evidence There are four pieces of evidence to support the Big Bang theory, although neither is a proof of the event, because scientific theories aren't ever proven. EVIDENCE ONE It is almost certain that the universe had a beginning. EVIDENCE TWO Galaxies seem to be moving away from Earth according to their distance.

  1. Creative Writing

    with pit falls of holes and craters like the moons surface abusing, scarring Mother Nature. You can barely see anything now; the murky sleepy sheep like clouds have overcast everything making it dusky, brittle and unbearable to see anything. I think I'm walking on my own grave or going to

  2. When one begins to study satellites he or she is bound to find out ...

    The Death of a Satellite Many factors can contribute to the slowing down or even the death of a satellite. Even before some satellites reach space, 1 in 20 are rendered useless by either being jolted on lift-off, perish in fires of defective rocket blasts or are put into improper orbits (Canby, 282).

  1. Describe and explain the long-term effects of large-scale deforestation on the earth's atmosphere.

    In comparison, fossil fuel burning (coal, oil, and gas) releases about 6 billion metric tons per year, so it is clear that deforestation makes a significant contribution to the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. Releasing CO2 into the atmosphere enhances the greenhouse effect. Deforestation and Biodiversity Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the variety of the world's organisms, including their genetic diversity and the assemblages they form.

  2. What is a Diamond and where are they found?

    How and when were Diamonds made? The ancient Romans believed diamonds were splinters from fallen stars. The Ancient Greeks thought they were tears from the Gods. Most civilisations have had a fascination for them, if not for their beauty

  1. In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.

    Faith is required whatever position you adopt, whether the idea that this entire solar system, including our earth, came into being about six thousand years ago, or six million years ago, or however many billions of years we want to think.

  2. What are stars made of?

    A Nuclear reaction then begins to spread outward. As the helium core grows heavier, the core's temperature also increases, and the outer layers begin to expand until the star becomes a massive red star known as a red giant. In the case of a star that is about the size

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work