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Weak magnetic field changes over the Pacific due to high conductance in lowermost mantle
Nature Geoscience ( IF 13.566 ) Pub Date : 2020-06-29 , DOI: 10.1038/s41561-020-0589-y
Mathieu Dumberry; Colin More

For the past few centuries, the temporal variation in Earth’s magnetic field in the Pacific region has been anomalously low. The reason for this is tied to large-scale flows in the liquid outer core near the core–mantle boundary, which are weaker under the Pacific and feature a planetary-scale gyre that is eccentric and broadly avoids this region. However, what regulates this type of flow morphology is unknown. Here we present results from a numerical model of the dynamics in Earth’s core that includes electromagnetic coupling with a non-uniform conducting layer at the base of the mantle. We show that when the conductance of this layer is higher under the Pacific than elsewhere, the larger electromagnetic drag force weakens the local core flows and deflects the flow of the planetary gyre away from the Pacific. The nature of the lowermost mantle conductance remains unclear, but stratified core fluid trapped within topographic undulations of the core–mantle boundary is a possible explanation.
更新日期:2020-06-29

 

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