Skip to main content

crustal abundance of elements

crustal abundance of elements The Earth's crust has an average density of 2800kg/m3 and a thickness varying from about 30km below the continents (up to 60 km beneath some mountains) to 5 km beneath the oceans. By mapping the major rock types and averaging their composition the abundance of elements can be estimated. The crust is enriched in incompatible elements (e.g. K and Rb) as well as lithophile elements, but a few elements predominate, especially in silicate minerals, while some ore metals are rare (e.g. Cu and Sn). Because the crust was formed from material extruded from the Earth's mantle, it is to be expected that the mantle is depleted in ‘crustal’ components. Oxygen (O) constitutes almost 50% of the Earth's crust by weight and is the most abundant element. Other major elements include: silicon (Si), which is the second most abundant, constituting 27.72% of the crust by weight; aluminium (Al) third; sodium (Na); magnesium (Mg); calcium (Ca); and iron (Fe). Other elements, including such desired metals as gold (Au), silver (Ag), and platinum (Pt), are rare in the crust.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crustal abundance of elements." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . 14 Sep. 2019 <>.

"crustal abundance of elements." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . (September 14, 2019).

"crustal abundance of elements." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved September 14, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.