Chemical Composition of the Earth's Crust - Elements

Table of Element Composition of the Earth's Crust

The most abundant element in the lithosphere of the Earth is oxygen.
The most abundant element in the lithosphere of the Earth is oxygen. Rost-9D / Getty Images

This is a table that shows the elemental chemical composition of the Earth's crust. Keep in mind, these numbers are estimates. They will vary depending on the way they were calculated and the source. 98.4% of the Earth's crust consists of oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. All other elements account for approximately 1.6% of the volume of the Earth's crust.

Major Elements in the Earth's Crust

Element Percent by Volume
oxygen 46.60%
silicon 27.72%
aluminum 8.13%
iron 5.00%
calcium 3.63%
sodium 2.83%
potassium 2.59%
magnesium 2.09%
titanium 0.44%
hydrogen 0.14%
phosphorus 0.12%
manganese 0.10%
fluorine 0.08%
barium 340 ppm
carbon 0.03%
strontium 370 ppm
sulfur 0.05%
zirconium 190 ppm
tungsten 160 ppm
vanadium 0.01%
chlorine 0.05%
rubidium 0.03%
chromium 0.01%
copper 0.01%
nitrogen 0.005%
nickel trace
zinc trace

Mineral Composition

The crust is chemically similar to andesite. The most abundant minerals in the continental crust are feldspar (41%), quartz (12%), and pyroxene (11%)

Keep in mind, the elemental composition of the Earth's crust is not the same as the composition of the Earth. The mantle and core account for significantly more mass than the crust. The mantle is about 44.8% oxygen, 21.5% silicon, and 22.8% magnesium, with iron, aluminum, calcium, sodium, and potassium. The Earth's core is believed to consist primarily of a nickel-iron alloy.


  • Haynes, William M. (2016). "Abundance of Elements in the Earth's Crust and in the Sea." CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (97th ed.). Taylor and Francis. ISBN 9781498754286.
  • Kring, David. Composition of Earth's continental crust as inferred from the compositions of impact melt sheets. Lunar and Planetary Science XXVIII.