A new model of the Earth’s core developed by Dr. Philip Livermore of the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds and colleagues using the supercomputer Monte Rosa, part of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre in Lugano, Switzerland, was reported in the Sept. 16, 2013, edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The new model explains processes that have not been clearly defined or understood for over 300 years.
The basis of the model is a central solid inner core of iron surrounded by a liquid outer core that is an alloy of iron and other minerals.
The inner core was found to be responsible for generating the Earth’s geomagnetic field as predicted by theory.
The model also confirmed that the solid inner core spins in an easterly direction at a faster rate than the molten outer core that spins in a westerly direction. The model also verified that the magnetic field changes over time and a resulting change in the shape and spin speed of the inner and outer core that are produced by that change.
The researchers were also able to verify that the core has changed spin directions completely in the past. The magnetic dipole of some iron containing minerals in the Earth’s crust have been shown to be evidence that the core changed direction in the past. This is the first computer model that was able to verify that change and define the time frames of that change that correlate with the physical reality of mineral samples.