New evidence attests to a previous planetary tilt of the Earth, in which the planet’s rigid outer layer was able to wobble or even tip over with respect to its axis of rotation.
The new research, published in “Nature Communications,” which is directed by the Earth Life Sciences Institute (ELSI), explains the conditions under which the phenomenon known as “polar shift” arose: the motion of a pole with respect to a fixed frame of reference.
the scientific explanation
The Earth is a layered sphere, with an inner core of solid metal, an outer core of liquid metal, and a solid mantle and crust prevalent on the surface on which we live. It all spins like the top once a day. Since the Earth’s outer core is liquid, the solid mantle and crust can slide over it. Relatively dense structures, such as erupting oceanic plates and massive volcanoes like Hawaii, prefer to be close to the equator.
Despite this crustal displacement, the Earth’s magnetic field is generated by electric currents in the Ni-Fe metal convection fluid from the outer core. On long time scales, the displacement of the mantle and the crust above it does not affect the core, because the rock layers above it are transparent to the Earth’s magnetic field. Instead, convective patterns in this outer core are forced to dance around the Earth’s spin axis, meaning that the general pattern of Earth’s magnetic field is predictable, propagating in the same way as iron filings aligned on a small magnetic strip.
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