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Index Geophysics

Energetics of the Earth's core


Title (Dublin Core)

en-US Energetics of the Earth's core

Description (Dublin Core)

en-US The energy supplied to generate the Earth's magnetic field must ultimately result in heat flowing across the core-mantle boundary and through the Earth's surface. If the liquid core is stirred by thermal convection then only a small fraction of the total heat is dissipated in the electric currents, and in order to explain the observed field at least 1011 watt and probably 1013 watt of the Earth's surface heat flux must originate deep inside the core. If the core is cooling and there is concomitant chemical differentiation, a large amount of gravitational energy is released. This energy, unlike the heat released, is completely dissipated in the electric currents and enables the same magnetic field to be generated with a much lower heat flux. Chemical differentiation is therefore favoured as the energy source for the dynamo. The importance of gravitational settling depends on the density jump at the inner core boundary and on the stratification parameter in the outer core, both of which can, in principle, be determined seismologically.

Creator (Dublin Core)

Gubbins, D.

Subject (Dublin Core)

en-US Earth's core
en-US Dynamo
en-US Energetics
en-US Solid Earth

Publisher (Dublin Core)

en-US Journal of Geophysics

Date (Dublin Core)


Type (Dublin Core)

en-US Peer-reviewed Article

Format (Dublin Core)


Identifier (Dublin Core)

Source (Dublin Core)

en-US Journal of Geophysics; Vol 43 No 1 (1977): Journal of Geophysics; 453-464

Language (Dublin Core)


Relation (Dublin Core)