In a new study conducted at the University of California, a group of seismologists discovered a strange change in the inner core of the planet that will leave an impact, perhaps, on our planet.
According to the research published in the scientific journal “scitechdaily”, the inner core (the cortex of the nucleus), which is formed from solid iron, and for unknown reasons, grows more from one side of it than the other.
The results of the study indicated that the fastest growth occurs under the Banda Sea in Indonesia, and that this enhanced growth on one side indicates that something in the Earth’s outer core or the mantle below Indonesia is removing heat from the inner core at a faster rate than on the other side, below Brazil.
“Earth’s inner core grows faster on its eastern side than on its western side. The attraction of asymmetric growth occurs by pushing iron crystals toward the north and south poles.”
The scientists noted that the rapid cooling from one side of the planet would accelerate the crystallization of iron and the growth of the inner core on this side.
Scientists said that this event will have implications for the magnetic field of the planet and its history as well, because the thermal differences between the inner core of the planet and the outer atmosphere “is what drives today the dynamo that generates the magnetic field that protects us from dangerous particles from the sun.”
“We are providing fairly loose limits on the age of the inner core — which is between half a billion and 1.5 billion years old — that can be traced back to the core,” says Barbara Romanovic, professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California and director emeritus of Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (BSL). This information helps to understand how the magnetic field is formed.”
“We know the magnetic field was already there 3 billion years ago, so other processes must have driven convection in the outer core at that time,” Romanovich adds.
Scientists at the University of Nantes in France and the University of California have created a computer model for crystal growth in the inner core that incorporates geodynamic growth models and the mineralophysics of iron, providing indicators of high pressure and temperature.
The scientists say that the model provided somewhat strange results, namely that “the inner core is asymmetric. The west side looks different from the east side along the line from tip to center, the only way we can explain this is that one side is growing faster than the other “.
The model indicates that asymmetric growth is about 60% higher in the east of the planet than in the west. “What we propose in this paper is an unbalanced model of solid convection in the inner core that reconciles seismic observations with plausible geodynamic boundary conditions,” Romanovich says.