Geomagnetic spikes on the core-mantle boundary

Citation:
Davies, C, Constable C.  2017.  Geomagnetic spikes on the core-mantle boundary. Nature Communications. 8

Date Published:

2017/05

Keywords:

constraints, convection, earths core, intensity, magnetic-field, nutation, outer-core, secular variation, spherical-shell, torsional waves

Abstract:

Extreme variations of Earth's magnetic field occurred in the Levant region around 1000 BC, when the field intensity rapidly rose and fell by a factor of 2. No coherent link currently exists between this intensity spike and the global field produced by the core geodynamo. Here we show that the Levantine spike must span >60 degrees longitude at Earth's surface if it originates from the core-mantle boundary (CMB). Several low intensity data are incompatible with this geometric bound, though age uncertainties suggest these data could have sampled the field before the spike emerged. Models that best satisfy energetic and geometric constraints produce CMB spikes 8-22 degrees wide, peaking at O(100) mT. We suggest that the Levantine spike reflects an intense CMB flux patch that grew in place before migrating northwest, contributing to growth of the dipole field. Estimates of Ohmic heating suggest that diffusive processes likely govern the ultimate decay of geomagnetic spikes.

Notes:

n/a

Website

DOI:

10.1038/ncomms15593

Scripps Publication ID:

15593