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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2010-04-17
    Description: Earth's solid inner core is surrounded by a convecting liquid outer core, creating the geodynamo driving the planet's magnetic field. Seismic studies using compressional body waves suggest hemispherical variation in the anisotropic structure of the inner core, but are poorly constrained because of limited earthquake and receiver distribution. Here, using normal mode splitting function measurements from large earthquakes, based on extended cross-coupling theory, we observe both regional variations and eastern versus western hemispherical anisotropy in the inner core. The similarity of this pattern with Earth's magnetic field suggests freezing-in of crystal alignment during solidification or texturing by Maxwell stress as origins of the anisotropy. These observations limit the amount of inner core super rotation, but would be consistent with oscillation.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Notes: 〈/span〉Deuss, Arwen -- Irving, Jessica C E -- Woodhouse, John H -- New York, N.Y. -- Science. 2010 May 21;328(5981):1018-20. doi: 10.1126/science.1188596. Epub 2010 Apr 15.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Author address: 〈/span〉Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0EZ, UK. afd28@cam.ac.uk〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Record origin:〈/span〉 〈a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20395476" target="_blank"〉PubMed〈/a〉
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2015-11-07
    Description: An asymmetry between a nearly isotropic, faster ‘eastern’ hemisphere and an anisotropic, slower ‘western’ hemisphere in Earth's inner core has been revealed by previous seismic studies. However, it remains unclear if division of the inner core into just two hemispheres is too simplistic. Here, we carry out regional-scale tomography using a new body wave data set to study the hemisphere boundary region beneath the northern and central Pacific Ocean and North America. If anisotropy is not considered, then a hemispherical pattern seems to be present in the study region, though the hemisphere boundary appears to be irregular. However, once the presence of anisotropy is permitted we find that this region cannot be simply separated into an anisotropic western hemisphere and an isotropic eastern hemisphere; instead the strength of the anisotropy varies regionally. The global hemispherical pattern is not observed here, instead the strongest anisotropy is observed in the centre and south west of the study region. Some of the strongest anisotropy appears to be in the ‘eastern’ inner core, while part of the inner core assumed to be in the western hemisphere shows weaker anisotropy. Thus, this part of the inner core displays complex variations in anisotropy which differ from a simple hemispherical division. We suggest that a long-lived global heterogeneity, such as uneven heat flow through the core–mantle boundary over a period of hundreds of millions of years, may be responsible for the observed pattern of inner core anisotropy.
    Keywords: Seismology
    Print ISSN: 0956-540X
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
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  • 3
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2018-06-28
    Description: Turbulent convection of the liquid iron alloy outer core generates Earth’s magnetic field and supplies heat to the mantle. The exact composition of the iron alloy is fundamentally linked to the processes powering the convection and can be constrained by its seismic properties. Discrepancies between seismic models determined using body waves and normal modes show that these properties are not yet fully agreed upon. In addition, technical challenges in experimentally measuring the equation-of-state (EoS) parameters of liquid iron alloys at high pressures and temperatures further complicate compositional inferences. We directly infer EoS parameters describing Earth’s outer core from normal mode center frequency observations and present the resulting Elastic Parameters of the Outer Core (EPOC) seismic model. Unlike alternative seismic models, ours requires only three parameters and guarantees physically realistic behavior with increasing pressure for a well-mixed homogeneous material along an isentrope, consistent with the outer core’s condition. We show that EPOC predicts available normal mode frequencies better than the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM) while also being more consistent with body wave–derived models, eliminating a long-standing discrepancy. The velocity at the top of the outer core is lower, and increases with depth more steeply, in EPOC than in PREM, while the density in EPOC is higher than that in PREM across the outer core. The steeper profiles and higher density imply that the outer core comprises a lighter but more compressible alloy than that inferred for PREM. Furthermore, EPOC’s steeper velocity gradient explains differential SmKS body wave travel times better than previous one-dimensional global models, without requiring an anomalously slow ~90- to 450-km-thick layer at the top of the outer core.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 4
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    In: Science
    Publication Date: 2018-10-19
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Geosciences , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 5
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    In: Science
    Publication Date: 2018
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 6
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    In: Science
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: 〈p〉Topography, or depth variation, of certain interfaces in the solid Earth can provide important insights into the dynamics of our planet interior. Although the intermediate- and long-range topographic variation of the 660-kilometer boundary between Earth’s upper and lower mantle is well studied, small-scale measurements are far more challenging. We found a surprising amount of topography at short length scale along the 660-kilometer boundary in certain regions using scattered 〈i〉P'P'〈/i〉 seismic waves. Our observations required chemical layering in regions with high short-scale roughness. By contrast, we did not see such small-scale topography along the 410-kilometer boundary in the upper mantle. Our findings support the concept of partially blocked or imperfect circulation between the upper and lower mantle.〈/p〉
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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