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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!, by the National Research Council, focuses on K-8 science classsrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store, as well as classroom materials.
This image shows the topography, or shape, of the Earth's surface, on land and below the oceans. Mountain ranges, subduction trenches, tectonic plates, and mid-ocean ridges are all visible in the image.
Click on image for full size
Image from: U.S. Geological Survey

Surface Features of the Earth

Look at this picture of the surface of the Earth! Can you find these features?

(Click on the image to see labeled examples of these features.)

These features prove that, unlike other planets, the surface layer of the Earth moves very slowly like inner tubes in a swimming pool.

Compare this active surface with that of Venus, Mars, or Europa.


Last modified February 26, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA