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EarthA Tenant's Manual$
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Frank H. T. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801478239

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.001.0001

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The Blue Planet

The Blue Planet

Chapter:
(p.46) Chapter 4 The Blue Planet
Source:
Earth
Author(s):

Frank H. T. Rhodes

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.003.0004

This chapter looks at the Earth's oceans and how they cover more of the Earth's surface than the terrain the planet is named after. In all the vastness of the solar system, only one planet—Earth—has an ocean. Seen from space, it is the ocean—not the earth—that gives it its distinctive blue color. The “earth” of the planet itself is but a series of continental islands, encircled in a larger, all-encompassing ocean. Furthermore, the ocean is what gives birth to new land. It is along the mid-ocean ridges that new land is born, and it is at the margins of the oceans that older land is consumed and destroyed. Given such properties and more, the chapter provides an overview of the ocean and the ways in which it can sustain life on Earth.

Keywords:   Earth, water, oceans, water forms, islands

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