Definition of lithosphere in English:


Pronunciation /ˈliTHəˌsfir/ /ˈlɪθəˌsfɪr/


  • The rigid outer part of the earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle.

    ‘the lithosphere comprises a number of plates’
    • ‘continental lithosphere has a lower mean density than oceanic lithosphere’
    • ‘An alternative to an active mantle thermal anomaly is greater stretching of the mantle lithosphere than the crust.’
    • ‘We attribute base level changes to the influence of the proto-Iceland mantle plume beneath the lithosphere, providing support until continental break-up west of the Faroe Islands.’
    • ‘After new oceanic crust forms, the lithosphere cools and thickens as it moves away from the ocean ridge.’
    • ‘This allows us to place much tighter constraints on the tectonic and thermal evolution of the lithosphere during late orogenic extension than has previously been possible.’
    • ‘At the same time, material that was eroded must be deposited offshore, amplifying the downward load where Mesozoic extension had already thinned the crust and weakened the lithosphere.’