The Earth's core is moving beneath our feet. What's going on in the center of the planet

Credit image: pixabay images
Credit image: pixabay images

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 21 June 2022, at 03:29 am Los Angeles time

Scientists have found evidence that the Earth's inner core is oscillating, contradicting previously accepted models that suggest that it is constantly rotating at a higher speed than the planet itself.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, shows that the Earth's inner core changed direction between 1969 and 1974, according to the analysis of seismic data. Scientists say that the pattern of movement of the inner core developed by them also explains the variation in the length of the day, which has been proven repeatedly in recent decades. 

"From our findings, we can see that the Earth's surface moves differently from its inner core, as researchers have said for 20 years," the study's coordinators said. 

"The interior turned slightly slower between 1969 and 1971 and then moved in the opposite direction between 1971 and 1974. We also notice that the length of the day has increased and decreased, as would have been expected in this context."

Research published in 1996 was the first to suggest that the inner core rotates faster than the rest of the planet, and later discoveries reinforced this idea. 

"The idea that the inner core oscillates already exists, but the community has been divided on its viability," the scientists explained. 

"We set off expecting to see the same direction and rate of rotation as in previous atomic tests.

"But we saw the opposite. We were quite surprised to find that the nucleus was moving in the other direction." 

This study supports the speculation that the inner core oscillates based on variations in day length - plus or minus 0.2 seconds over six years - and geomagnetic fields. 

"The inner core is not fixed - it moves under our feet and seems to rotate back and forth a few miles every six years," the researchers concluded.

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