AGU期刊一周Research Spotlight
AGU发布最新Editor's Highlight和国外工作学习机会(Nov 1~Nov 7, 2019)
时间:2019年11月08日 14:00来源:www.3522com 点击数:

Thermal Convection Can Power the Geodynamo

New high-pressure experiments on fluid iron suggest thermal convection without compositional buoyancy is sufficient to drive the dynamo generating Earth's magnetic field.

SOURCE: Geophysical Research Letters

A graph showing total conductive heat flow in the core as a function of radius for pure iron (black line) and compositional models containing Fe-Ni-S (blue line) and Fe-Ni-Si (red line). Total conductive heat flow in the core as a function of radius for pure iron (black line) and compositional models containing Fe-Ni-S (blue line) and Fe-Ni-Si (red line). The inner core boundary (ICB) is shown by the vertical dashed line and values for the heat flow at the core-mantle boundary are represented along the right side of the diagram (radius, 3400 km). The grey shaded area shows the range of values from geophysical estimates (5-15 TW), with most recent values given by the grey and dash-shaded area (10-15 TW). The new values of 8-9 TW support thermal convection over compositional buoyancy as the primary source of energy powering the geodyamo. Credit: Yong et al. [2019], Figure 3c

The Earth's magnetic field shields humanity from the ionizing radiation of solar wind, and it also remains critical to modern navigation systems. The field is produced in the core by a dynamo that requires the fluid motion of liquid iron alloy and electrical conductivity.

However, the driving forces behind the geodynamo have been debated, since estimates for the total heat flow across the core-mantle boundary (CMB) range from 5-15 TW. Most recent estimates are on the high end of this range (10-15 TW), which call into question the timing of core formation and the relative importance of thermal versus chemically driven convection in the outer core.

Experimental studies of the properties of liquid iron at high pressures and temperatures remain extremely challenging. Yong et al. [2019] measured the electrical resistivity of liquid and solid iron up to the highest pressures yet (24 GPa) for a large-volume apparatus, and they found that resistivity is constant with pressure along the melting boundary. These results were used to estimate a total heat flow of 8-9 TW across the CMB.

The results imply that outer-core convection can be thermally driven even before the solid inner core formed, which is consistent with paleomagnetic data that suggest the geomagnetic field existed as early as 4.2 billion years ago.

Citation: Yong, W., Secco, R. A., Littleton, J. A. H., & Silber, R. E. [2019]. The iron invariance: Implications for thermal convection in Earth's core. Geophysical Research Letters, 46. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL084485

—Steven D. Jacobsen, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters


1.2 Postdoctoral Scholars (Green Foundation Postdoctoral Appointments in Geophysics)

La Jolla, California

Starting salary is $60,000/yr plus benefits, along with $3000/yr of discretionary research funds.

University of California, San Diego


2.Postdoctoral Scholar (John W. Miles Postdoctoral Fellowship)

La Jolla, California

Salary is $60,000/yr plus benefits, along with $3000/yr of discretionary research funds.

University of California, San Diego


3.Graduate Student Opportunity in Coastal Hydro-biogeochemistry at UC Santa Cruz

University of California, Santa Cruz

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences - University of California, Santa Cruz

We are seeking a MS or PhD student to join a multidisciplinary team to quantify the fate and transport of groundwater-derived nitrogen to coasts.


4.Two Ph.D. Positions in Water Security and Data Science at the University of Delaware

Newark, DE

Competitive stipend, tuition waiver, and subsidized health insurance.

University of Delaware, Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences


5.Graduate Student and Post-doc Opportunities in Computational Geophysical Studies of Mid-Ocean Ridges

Boston College, Chestnut Hill or University of Hawaii, Honolulu

Five years of financial support through research and teaching assistantships

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Boston College





地 址:北京大学廖凯原楼5层 511

邮 编:100871

电 话:010-62752344

传 真:010-62752344

邮 箱:pkuocean@pku.edu.cn

版权所有 strong>www.3522com_葡京集团-[官方网站] Copyright by ocean.pku.edu.cn @2017, All Rights Reserved.

XML 地图 | Sitemap 地图