How Are Earth's Spheres Interacting?
ES0103  Sphere Interactions

The surface of the geosphere, where the rocky part of our planet is in contact with water, air, and/or life is generally where the spheres intersect and affect each other. The processes that move matter and energy from one sphere to another are called sphere interactions.

Bud Rusho, Bureau of Reclamation, 1984

Glen Canyon Dam holds back the waters of the Colorado River to form Lake Powell.

Several examples of sphere interactions can be inferred from this photograph:

  • Humans (biosphere) built a dam out of rock materials (geosphere).
  • Water in the lake (hydrosphere) seeps into the cliff walls behind the dam, becoming groundwater (geosphere), or evaporating into the air (atmosphere).
  • Humans (biosphere) harness energy from the water (hydrosphere) by having it spin turbines (geosphere) to produce electricity.


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