April 13, 2024

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Scientific research that revealed why the Earth's core grows on one side more than the other

Scientific research that revealed why the Earth's core grows on one side more than the other

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At a depth of more than 5,000 kilometers beneath our feet, it lies Solid inner core Landwhose discovery dates back to 1936. Despite the passage of time, mysteries about its formation and evolution remain, challenging scientific understanding.

This inner core, inaccessible to direct samples, was present Study object Through disciplines such as seismology, geodynamics and mineral physics. And through these areas Scientists They have been able to investigate mysteries hidden in unfathomable depths.

In a recent study, researchers from the Carlos Russo Institute of Geophysics and the Geosciences Research Center of the National University of Buenos Aires came together to address one of the most interesting mysteries regarding the Earth's core.

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What is the Earth's core like?

he Earth's core It was formed about 4.5 billion years ago, in the first 200 million years of our planet's history. The heavier iron was pulled toward the center of the Earth by gravity, while the lighter metals formed the mantle and crust.

With time, Temperature at the center of the Earth It dropped low enough for the iron to harden and form The inner core.

The Earth's core is the deepest part of our planet. (Image: File)

Currently, this core continues to grow at a rate of approximately 1 mm per year, which is equivalent to solidifying massive amounts of molten iron every second.

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In the 1990s, scientists noticed a peculiarity in the speeds of seismic waves passing through the inner core, suggesting that… Its structure was not uniform. Specifically, they note Differences between the eastern and western half of the inner coreThe eastern part shows a different speed than the western part.

The recent study investigated this observation using new seismic techniques and geodynamic models. The results revealed that Growth of the inner core is not uniform, and is faster in the eastern halfWhich is located below the Banda Sea in Indonesia, compared to the western half located below Brazil.

Gravitational forces in the inner core maintain a uniform distribution of growth, Maintaining its spherical shape. Although this phenomenon does not threaten the stability of the Earth, it leaves a record high in the speeds of seismic waves that pass through its inner core.

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How old is the Earth's core?

By examining seismic observations alongside flow models, the researchers suggest so The age of the Earth's inner core, which is located in the center of the core, ranges between 500 and 1.5 billion years.

Although the most recent estimate seems the most likely, the exact age remains a matter of debate, with important implications for our understanding of the planet's geological history. Land.

Nuclei formation occurred early in Earth's history, about 4.5 billion years ago. (Photo: Archive)

The recent study presents an innovative model for the inner core, although its validity depends on certain physical assumptions that are still under scrutiny. This assumes that the inner core consists of a A specific crystalline phase of ironWhich adds a layer of uncertainty to the conclusion about his age.

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In addition, the research reveals that Earth is not the only planet in the solar system to appear Asymmetric:

  • in MarsA topographic difference is observed between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres: the Northern Hemisphere's surface is flatter, while the Southern Hemisphere's surface is more rugged, with more mountains and higher terrain.
  • On the planets Mercury and JupiterThe discrepancy lies not in its surface topography, but in the composition of its magnetic fields, which are not a mirror symmetry between the northern and southern hemispheres.
  • In the moonA chemical difference is observed between the composition of its crust on the side that always faces the Earth and the side opposite it.