Earth’s magnetic field has been created by the motion of molten iron on the outer surface of our planet, but its detailed changes have continued to haunt scientists. We know that the poles move, the energy of the field flows and flows, and the earth can even reverse its spine but many unknowns still surround these processes. A new series of simulations published in a study published in Nature Communications shows that the Earth’s magnetic field can move 10 times faster than what is currently believed.
In particular, these rapid changes can occur when the field is in the weakest position, such as a polar catastrophe or when traveling, where the pole position changed dramatically but only before returning to a few thousand years ago.
Simulations include the last 100,000 years and attempts to reproduce ancient reversals or geological results related to travel. They have seen changes in the direction of the field at 10 times faster than the fastest published change of up to 1 degree per year. The models found the cause of this change in the original surface, 2,800 kilometers (1,740 miles) below the surface.
Co-author Dr. Chris Davies from the University of Leeds said in a statement, “We have incomplete knowledge of the magnetic field 400 years ago. Since these rapid changes represent some of the more extreme behaviors of the liquid core, they can provide important information about the behavior of the Earth’s deep interior.”
The evolution of the magnetic field can leave an impression on certain rocks. Scientists are using these geological records to track changes in the final magnetic field of use, and they believe that evidence of this rapid and dramatic catastrophe may be common in low latitude patterns.
Co-author Professor Catherine Constable said, “Understand whether computer simulations of magnetic fields accurately reflect the physical behavior of geomagnetic fields as inferred from geological records.”“But in this case, we’ve been able to show great agreement in terms of both the conversion rate and general position of the most extreme events across a range of computer simulations. Further study of evolutionary dynamics in these simulations offers an effective strategy for documenting whether such rapid changes occur and whether it is also available during static magnetic polarization as we are currently experiencing.