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I don't have a background in Geology but this question popped in my head the other day and can't find an answer anywhere else.

If I remember science class correctly, Earth's layers have different element compositions. Would it be correct to assume that they have different densities and different frictions as a result? And if they do, does it follow from it that they rotate at different speeds?

Thanks.

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Im am currently doing my masters in geophysics (last semester) and before that I did a bachelor in geoscience.

I assume by layers you mean the crust, the mantle and the core. These all have different composition and also different densities. But the earth rotates as a whole, not the individual layers, all layers have the same angular velocity. That means they all make one rotation per day. These layers are also not the perfect boundaries we like to imagine, but more a change in properties around a finite depth. This depth can even change at different places.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the detailed answer. $\endgroup$ – user62099 Apr 5 at 14:01
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The inner core rotates slightly faster than the rest of the planet. This passage from National Geographic explains:

The liquid outer core separates the inner core from the rest of the Earth, and as a result, the inner core rotates a little differently than the rest of the planet. It rotates eastward, like the surface, but it’s a little faster, making an extra rotation about every 1,000 years.

I have never read anything to suggest, however, that the other layers of the Earth rotate at differenct velocities.

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