The Structure of the Atmosphere

The "Levels" of the Atmosphere

The atmosphere is divided into different layers related to its temperature profile:

  • The Troposphere from 0 km (or mountain top) to 7 km (polar regions) and 17 km (tropics), confined by the tropopause

  • The Stratosphere up to 50 km, confined by the stratopause

  • The Mesosphere up to the mesopause (between 80 and 85 km)

  • The Thermosphere up to over 500 km

  • The Exosphere up to about 10 000 km


The troposphere is called lower atmosphere, stratosphere and mesosphere make up the middle atmosphere, thermosphere and exosphere are named upper atmosphere.

Temperature Profile of the Atmosphere