Blobs in Earth's Core Could Be Causing 'Geomagnetic Jerks' in the Magnetic Field

Most recently, scientists realized that that suddenly released, moving blobs inside the core could explain the geomagnetic jerks.

“The ability to numerically reproduce jerks offers a new way to probe the physical properties of Earth’s deep interior,” researchers Julien Aubert from the University of Paris and Christopher Finlay from the Technical University of Denmark write in a new paper , published in Nature Geoscience.

But sometimes the magnetic field experiences “jerks,” where it unpredictably goes from speeding up to slowing down, similar to the whiplash-inducing jolts you might feel on a rickety old train.

To better understand this, the researchers built a simulation of Earth, in which the outer core is represented as a rotating spherical shell filled with an electrically conducting liquid, and the inner core and mantle as solids sandwiching the liquid later.

Once these waves are stopped by the solid mantle, they compress, leading to the temporary disturbances in the magnetic field that cause the geomagnetic jerk.

You might be aware that the magnetic field protects us from solar rays that would otherwise make the planet unlivable.

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