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Fluctuating gravity of Earth’s core

Stevenson, David J. (2012) Fluctuating gravity of Earth’s core. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109 (47). pp. 19039-19040. ISSN 0027-8424. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130104-134326878

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Abstract

For centuries, we have known that Earth’s magnetic field varies with time. Edmond Halley (better known for his eponymous recurring comet) first recognized this time variation of magnetic compass needle direction and even offered a remarkable theory that required an intervening fluid between Earth’s solid outer shell and a hypothesized innermost solid core (1). For decades, consensus has emerged for an explanation of this time variation that depends on the dynamics of Earth’s liquid metallic outer core. In this dynamo theory (2), the fluid motions responsible for field regeneration arise because of density differences within the fluid, much as density and pressure differences in Earth’s atmosphere or ocean can drive circulation and vertical motions in those regions of Earth. Density differences necessarily imply changes in Earth’s gravity field, so it is only a small step in logic to imagine that there could be changes in the gravity field that correlate with changes in the magnetic field, with both changes arising from fluid flow in the core. In PNAS, Mandea et al. (3) claim to have found possible evidence for such a correlation on a time scale of a few years to a decade.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1216731109 DOIUNSPECIFIED
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/47/19039PublisherUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information:© 2012 National Academy of Sciences. Published online before print November 5, 2012. Author contributions: D.J.S. wrote the paper.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130104-134326878
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130104-134326878
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36175
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:05 Jan 2013 00:27
Last Modified:14 Nov 2014 19:21

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