The evidence that the Earth could overturn on its axis

Lapatilla

October 19 2021, 1:01 pm

First photograph of planet Earth taken by humans (1968). Christie’s, via 20minutos.es

New evidence attests to a past planetary tilt of the Earth, in which the planet’s solid outer layer was able to wobble or even overturn relative to the axis of rotation.

By 20minutos.es

The new research published in “Nature Communications”, directed by the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI), explains the conditions in which the phenomenon known as “polar shift” was produced: the movement of a pole in relation to a frame fixed reference.

The scientific explanation

Earth is a layered ball, with an inner core of solid metal, an outer core of liquid metal, and a solid mantle and crust predominant on the surface we live on. All of this spins like a top, once a day. Because the Earth’s outer core is liquid, the solid mantle and crust can slide over it. Relatively dense structures like subducting oceanic plates and massive volcanoes like Hawaii prefer to be near the equator.

Despite this displacement of the crust, the Earth’s magnetic field is generated by electric currents in the convective liquid Ni-Fe metal of the outer core. On long time scales, the displacement of the overlying mantle and crust does not affect the core, because those overlying rock layers are transparent to the Earth’s magnetic field. Rather, the convection patterns in this outer core are forced to dance around the Earth’s axis of rotation, meaning that the overall pattern of Earth’s magnetic field is predictable, spreading in the same way as filings. of iron aligned on a small magnetic bar.

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