Temperature, Pressure and Density of the Earth’s Interior


  • A rise in temperature with increase in depth is observed in mines and deep wells.
  • These evidence along with molten lava erupted from the earth’s interior supports that the temperature increases towards the centre of the earth.
  • The different observations show that the rate of increase of temperature is not uniform from the surface towards the earth’s centre. It is faster at some places and slower at other places.
  • In the beginning, this rate of increase of temperature is at an average rate of 1C for every 32m increase in depth.
  • While in the upper 100kms, the increase in temperature is at the rate of 12C per km and in the next 300kms, it is 20C per km. But going further deep, this rate reduces to mere 10C per km.
  • Thus, it is assumed that the rate of increase of temperature beneath the surface is decreasingtowards the centre (do not confuse rate of increase of temperature with increase of temperature. Temperature is always increasing from the earth’s surface towards the centre).
  • The temperature at the centre is estimated to lie somewhere between 3000C and 5000C, may be that much higher due to the chemical reactions under high-pressure conditions.
  • Even in such a high temperature also, the materials at the centre of the earth are in solid state because of the heavy pressure of the overlying materials.


  • Just like the temperature, the pressure is also increasing from the surface towards the centreof the earth.
  • It is due to the huge weight of the overlying materials like rocks.
  • It is estimated that in the deeper portions, the pressure is tremendously high which will be nearly 3 to 4 million times more than the pressure of the atmosphere at sea level.
  • At high temperature, the materials beneath will melt towards the centre part of the earth but due to heavy pressure, these molten materials acquire the properties of a solid and are probably in a plastic state.


  • Due to increase in pressure and presence of heavier materials like Nickel and Iron towards the centre, the density of earth’s layers also gets on increasing towards the centre.
  • The average density of the layers gets on increasing from crust to core and it is nearly 14.5g/cm3 at the very centre.