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Asthenosphere

rigid lithosphere

Asthenosphere, the worldwide “soft layer” underlying the rigid lithosphere, located some 43.5–155 mi (70–250 km) below the earth's surface. Considered part of the upper mantle, the zone is characterized by low seismic velocities, suggesting that it may be partially molten. In plate tectonic theory, rigid slablike plates of the lithosphere move over the asthenosphere.

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