Jul 2, 2022

Changes in Earth’s Outer Core Revealed by Seismic Waves From Earthquakes

Posted by in category: energy

Theory underpins our understanding of convection in the Earth’s outer core and its function in controlling the planet’s magnetic field. Convective flows or how they may be changing have never been directly observed by scientists. Virginia Tech geoscientist Ying Zhou puts proof forward for the first time.

A large earthquake shook the Kermadec Islands region in the South Pacific Ocean in May 1997. A little over 20 years later, in September 2018, a second big earthquake hit the same location, with its waves of seismic energy emanating from the same region.

Although two decades separated the earthquakes, because they occurred in the same region, they’d be expected to send seismic waves through the Earth’s layers at the same speed, said Ying Zhou, a geoscientist with the Department of Geosciences at the Virginia Tech College of Science.

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