What is it?

The lithosphere (from ancient Greek “lithos” which means “stone”) is the habitat of all living organisms on Earth. It is the fine layer of earth, minerals and rocks that covers our planet and is also the lakes, rivers and oceans’ bed. It is the surface of the Earth where we walk, build and cultivate.

The lithosphere consists of the Earth’s crust and part of the upper mantle. It is a rigid surface which is divided into several tectonic plates. These slide on top of a viscous part of the mantle called the asthenosphere (from Greek astheneia, which means “weak”), hence creating volcanoes and earthquakes.

Did you know it?
The lithosphere beneath the oceans continuously renews itself from the magma that comes from the Earth’s mantle.

Scientific specialities

Most of these specialities below are featured in our flagship card game 7 SPHERES®


Science of the lithosphere.

Study of the evolution, composition and distribution of the Earth’s crust which is made of rocks, minerals, fossils and layers of deposits.


Chemistry of the Earth crust and seabed.

Study of the cycles through which chemical elements circulate alternatively from the surface to the depths of the Earth.


Science of dating and determining the calendar of events in the history of Earth using methods such as radiocarbon dating of rocks, sediments and fossils.


Study and forecast of the movements of the Earth’s crust, including earthquakes.

Many of these movements are so weak that they remain unnoticed by humans.


History and geography of the dynamics and evolution of mountains and other continental or underwater high reliefs.

Modelling their future transformations.


Physical and chemical study of soils as the plants habitat.

Analysis of the grounds composition (acidity, pollution) and how it influences ecosystems and agriculture.