What are the Domains of the Earth

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Domains of the Earth

Earth is the planet in our solar system that has the capability to provide life. The surface of the earth is a zone where three main components of the environment meet, overlap as well as interact. 

There are four major domains of the Earth as follows-  lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and the biosphere. The atmosphere is further divided into four layers based on composition, temperature, and other properties that are the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere. 

There are Two Main Divisions of the Surface of the Earth

Continents: Continents are the large landmasses.

The Highest Mountain Peak on this planet is Mount Everest. 

Ocean Basins: Oceans are huge water bodies.

Mariana Trench is the deepest Oceanic trench on this Earth which derives its name from the nearby Mariana Islands.


The Four Major Domains of the Earth

The four major domains of the earth interact with each other as well as affect each other in some way or the other.

Lithosphere: The solid portion of this planet is called the Lithosphere. 

Atmosphere: The gaseous layers that surround the earth are called the atmosphere.

Hydrosphere: Water covers a very big area of the earth’s surface that is called the Hydrosphere.

Biosphere: Biosphere is the zone where land, water, and air together are found.


Lithosphere - The Domain of Land

The very outermost portion of the Earth which consists of the Upper Mantle and also the Crust of the Earth is known as the Lithosphere.

Lithosphere has very rigid mechanical properties. The uppermost part of the lithosphere is called the pedosphere. 

The tectonic plates are a subdivision of the Lithosphere.


Hydrosphere - The Domain of Water

The domain of water is called the hydrosphere. It comprises different sources of water and also various types of water bodies like rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, etc. Water is very essential for all living organisms in the world. 

The hydrosphere comprises water on earth in Oceans, Seas, Rivers, Lakes, and even in frozen forms where 2.5% is freshwater and in this 2.5%; approximately 69% is in snow and ice form. The other 97.5% of Earth’s water is saltwater and 71% of the surface of the Earth is covered by oceans.


Atmosphere - The Domain of Air

The atmosphere is divided into five layers and they are:

1. Troposphere

2. Stratosphere

3. Mesosphere

4. Thermosphere

5. Exosphere

About 99 percent of the atmosphere is composed of nitrogen and oxygen where Nitrogen is 78 percent, oxygen is 21 percent, and other gases comprise 1 percent.


Biosphere – The Domain of Life

The biosphere is the zone of contact between land, water, and air. It is the zone where life exists and that is what makes this planet unique.

The organisms in the biosphere are divided into:

1. Plant kingdom

2. Animal kingdom

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Write a Short Note on Oceans.


Oceans are the major part of the hydrosphere. The Five Major Oceans are:

  • Pacific Ocean:  It is circular in shape which is surrounded by Asia, Australia, North and South Americas.

  • Atlantic Ocean: It is the second-largest ocean on this planet.

  • Indian Ocean: It is the only ocean named after a country, that is, India and it is almost triangular in shape. 

  • Southern Ocean: This ocean surrounds the continent of Antarctica

  • Arctic Ocean:  this ocean is located within the Arctic Circle and surrounds the North Pole. 

2. Write a Short Note on Continents.



There are seven major continents on this planet that are separated by very large water bodies.



  1. Asia is the largest continent on this planet which occupies 30 percent of the landmass and is also the most populous continent on earth.

  2. To the south lies the Indian Ocean, to its North lies the Arctic Ocean, and to the East of this continent lies the Pacific Ocean.

  3. The Suez Canal separates Asia and Africa whereas the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea separates Asia and Europe.



  1. The 2nd largest continent on Earth is  Africa covers 20% of the Earth’s total land area.

  2. The Equator, Tropic of Cancer, as well as the Tropic of Capricorn passes through this continent. 

  3. The world’s longest river Nile is in Africa that has two major tributaries, passing through eleven countries. 

  4. The largest hot desert is the Sahara Desert which is in Africa. 

It extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the West, to the Red Sea located in the East and covers a large part of the African Continent.  

The Mediterranean Sea lies to the North of the Sahara Desert.



  1. Europe is the sixth-largest continent occupying approximately two percent of the Earth’s surface.

  2. Russia is the largest country which half falls in the European continent.

  3. Europe is the origin of western civilization.

  4. Atlantic Currents have the biggest influence on this Continent.

  5. To the south lies the Atlantic Ocean, to the North of Europe lies the Arctic Ocean, and to the West lies the Atlantic Ocean.


North America

  1. North America is the 3rd largest continent in the world that lies completely in the Northern and Western Hemispheres.

  2. The Isthmus of Panama is a narrow strip that links two continents namely North America and South America.

  3. This continent is surrounded by three major oceans namely the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean.


South America

  1. There are a total of twelve Sovereign States in South America and it is the 4th largest continent.

  2. It is located in the Southern Hemisphere, to the East lies the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean is located to the West of this continent.

  3. Brazil is the most populous country on this continent.



  1. Australia is the smallest continent that lies totally in the Southern Hemisphere and is surrounded by the oceans and seas.

  2. It is also called an island continent.



  1. Antarctica is a huge continent that lies completely in the Southern Hemisphere.

  2. The South Pole lies almost at the center of Antarctica and is permanently covered with thick ice sheets.

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