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Published February 1980 | public
Journal Article

Core formation, evolution, and convection: a geophysical model


We propose a model for the formation and evolution of the Earth's core which provides an adequate energy source for maintaining the geodynamo. A modified inhomogeneous accretion model is proposed which leads to initial iron and refractory enrichment at the center of the planet. The probable heat source for melting of the core is the decay of ^(26)Al. The refractory material is emplaced irregularly in the lowermost mantle with uranium and thorium serving as a long-lived heat source. Fluid motions in the core are driven by the differential heating from above and the resulting cyclonic motions may be the source of the geodynamo.

Additional Information

© 1980 Published by Elsevier B.V. Received 9 November 1978, Revised 10 April 1979, Accepted 10 April 1979, Available online 11 October 2002. Contribution Number 3096, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, U.S.A. We profited from discussions with Andrew Ingersoll and Raymond Hide. Also, F. Busse and A.H. Cook provided helpful comments. This research was supported by NASA Grant No. NGL05-002-069.

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