Archiv: inner core nucleation paradox

02.01.2020 - 11:44 [ ]

Earth’s inner core nucleation paradox

(April 2018)

Using constraints from experiments, simulations, and theory, we show that spontaneous crystallization in a homogeneous liquid iron alloy at Earth’s core pressures requires a critical supercooling of order 1000 K, which is too large to be a plausible mechanism for the origin of Earth’s inner core. We consider mechanisms that can lower the nucleation barrier substantially. Each has caveats, yet the inner core exists: this is the nucleation paradox.

02.01.2020 - 11:37 [ ]

Earth’s Inner Core Shouldn’t Technically Exist


In their paper, the researchers proposed one possibility: Perhaps a massive nugget of solid metal alloy dropped from the mantle and plunged into the liquid core.

02.01.2020 - 11:32 [ ]

Challenging core belief: Have we misunderstood how Earth’s solid center formed?


It is widely accepted that the Earth’s inner core formed about a billion years ago when a solid, super-hot iron nugget spontaneously began to crystallize inside a 4,200-mile-wide ball of liquid metal at the planet’s center.

One problem: That’s not possible-or, at least, has never been easily explained-according to a new paper published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters from a team of scientists at Case Western Reserve University.

02.01.2020 - 11:23 [ ]

Extreme geomagnetic reversal frequency during the Middle Cambrian as revealed by the magnetostratigraphy of the Khorbusuonka section (northeastern Siberia)


A geomagnetic reversal frequency of 26 reversals per Myr is therefore estimated for the Drumian, reduced to 15 reversals per Myr if only the polarity intervals defined by at least two consecutive samples are retained. This is an extreme reversal rate, similar to that reported for the Late Ediacaran (late Precambrian), ∼50 Myr earlier, and proposed to be potentially linked to a late nucleation of the inner core.