The structure of our Earth is much more complex than ours.told at school, and much is not known about her. More recently, we talked about the fact that scientists have discovered a previously unknown molten layer in the mantle. But it seems that not only the mantle has a heterogeneous structure, but also the core. The interior appears to contain at least two layers, according to a recent study. I must say that the heterogeneity of its structure was suspected before, that is, scientists assumed that iron crystals have a different structural arrangement. Now this has been confirmed. According to the researchers, new information about the structure of the Earth will allow us to learn more about its history, that is, how the planet was formed.
What is the structure of the earth
In school we were taught that the Earth is made of crust,mantle, as well as two layers of the core - outer and inner. As we described earlier in the article about the deep earthquake off the coast of Japan, the mantle also includes two layers - the upper and lower.
However, all knowledge about the structure of our planetare based only on indirect observations, namely, volcanic activity and seismic waves. Moreover, they were made even when the equipment was quite primitive. Therefore, it is not surprising that they contain many inaccuracies.
Despite the colossal temperature of the core, many studies have shown that it is solid.
Based on previous observations, scientists found thatthe inner core, which is heated to a temperature of over 5 thousand degrees, is about one percent of the total volume of the Earth. That is, it is a red-hot solid metal ball. However, two years later, scientists at the Australian National University found evidence that the inner core of the planet includes two separate layers.
Earth's inner core has a heterogeneous structure
The idea of the existence of another separate layerThe inner core of the Earth was first announced several decades ago, but there was practically no data on this subject. Whether so it actually decided to find out the Australian scientists. To do this, they compared thousands of different models of the structure of the Earth's core with observational data obtained over many decades, which were collected by the International Seismological Center.
In honor of the essence of this study?The speed of propagation of seismic waves depends on the internal structure. So, according to the speed of wave propagation and some other signs, it is possible to determine the structure, at least approximately. This is exactly what the scientists did, as a result of which they were able to detect several of the most probable variants of the anisotropy (differences in the properties of the medium within this medium) of the nucleus.
According to one version, the structure of the Earth's coreis such that seismic waves propagate most rapidly parallel to the equator. But not all scientists agree with this opinion. Some experts believe that a higher propagation speed is characteristic of waves that move parallel to the Earth's axis of rotation. A study by Australian scientists has shown that the second version is correct.
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How was the Earth's core formed?
The study did not show the presence in the nucleus of anothermaterial other than iron, that is, both the outer and inner cores consist of the same material. However, scientists have found a difference in its structure. Iron crystals are differently folded, resulting in a more complex structure. The researchers reported this in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Apparently, in the history of our planet there were two separate periods of cooling, which was reflected in the structure of iron in the core. That is, for some reason, the core cooled unevenly. However, there is no information about this event to this day.
These findings are consistent with some othercore research. Moreover, they are able to shed light on why many experimental data do not agree with official ideas about the structure of the Earth.
However, scientists argue that fordefinitive conclusions, more research is needed. In their opinion, future work in this direction may fill some of the existing information gaps, which will allow us to confirm or refute the conclusions drawn.
Finally, we recall one interesting fact about the nucleusour planet. Recently, Chinese scientists made a statement that the core began to rotate in the opposite direction. Is it really? More information about this can be found at the link.