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terrestrial abundance of elements





The proportion of elements within the Earth changes dramatically with depth, heavier elements, notably iron and nickel, having sunk to the center of the planet during its early stages of formation. The table below ranks the elements according to their preponderance in the lithosphere, which includes the crust and the upper part of the mantle.


Distribution of elements in the Earth's crust (by weight)
element atomic number % by weight
oxygen 8 46.60
silicon 14 27.72
aluminum 13 8.13
iron 26 5.00
calcium 20 3.63
sodium 11 2.83
potassium 19 2.59
magnesium 12 2.09
titanium 22 0.44
hydrogen 1 0.14
phosphorus 15 0.12
manganese 25 0.10
fluorine 9 0.08
sulfur 16 0.05
chlorine 17 0.05
carbon 6 0.03
rubidium 37 0.03
vanadium 23 0.01
chromium 24 0.01
copper 29 0.01
nitrogen 7 0.005
boron 5 trace
cobalt 27 trace
zinc 30 trace
selenium 34 trace
molybdenum 42 trace
tin 50 trace
iodine 53 trace


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   • GEOLOGY AND PLANETARY SCIENCE