Temperature distribution inside the Earth causes magnetic anomalies

Scientists have discovered the uneven distribution of heat from the core to the surface of the Earth. They believe that this phenomenon causes magnetic anomalies over some areas. They can cause problems with satellite communications.

The magnetic field on Earth. Source: www.smithsonianmag.com

The Earth’s core is a source of heat and magnetic field

Geophysicists from the University of Leeds claim that they have understood how irregularities arise in the earth’s magnetic field, which we call anomalies. In their opinion, the reason is the peculiarities of heat distribution inside the Earth.

Both the internal heat and the magnetic field of our planet are born in its outer core. This is a huge ball of liquid iron, incandescent with radioactive decay up to 5000 degrees and rotating at high speed, creating the effect of a dynamo.

Above the core is the mantle, in which convective flows arise, carrying heat towards the surface. A new study has shown that this process does not occur uniformly throughout the entire volume of our planet and this is what causes magnetic anomalies.

How do magnetic anomalies occur

Seismic analysis has shown that there are regions of the mantle, for example, under Africa and the Pacific Ocean, especially hot. Computer simulations conducted by the researchers show that core cooling is slower in these zones due to the small temperature difference. As a consequence, convective flows are much weaker, and with them the magnetic field spreads weaker.

The mantle is especially hot under Africa and the Pacific Ocean. It is quite possible that the magnetic anomaly known for a long time over the South Atlantic is connected with it. The magnetic field in this area is so weak that with increased activity of the sun, problems with satellites or just communication regularly occur.

Previously, scientists could only guess about the causes of this anomaly. Therefore, how long it could exist remained unknown. However, it is now clear to scientists that the change in flows at the core-magma boundary can last tens of millions of years, so it can be argued that it will persist there for a long time.

According to phys.org

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