Axial and equatorial rotations of the Earth's cores associated with the Quaternary ice age

Masao Nakada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The differential axial and equatorial rotations of both cores associated with the Quaternary glacial cycles were evaluated based on a realistic earth model in density and elastic structures. The rheological model is composed of compressible Maxwell viscoelastic mantle, inviscid outer core and incompressible Maxwell viscoelastic inner core. The present study is, however, preliminary because I assume a rigid rotation for the fluid outer core. In models with no frictional torques at the boundaries of the outer core, the maximum magnitude of the predicted axial rotations of the outer and inner cores amounts to ∼2° year-1 and ∼1° year-1, respectively, but that for the secular equatorial rotations of both cores is ∼0.0001° at most. However, oscillating parts with a period of ∼225 years are predicted in the equatorial rotations for both cores. Then, I evaluated the differential rotations by adopting a time-dependent electromagnetic (EM) torque as a possible coupling mechanism at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) and inner core boundary (ICB). In a realistic radial magnetic field at the CMB estimated from surface magnetic field, the axial and equatorial rotations couple through frictional torques at the CMB, although these rotations decouple for dipole magnetic field model. The differential rotations were evaluated for conductivity models with a conductance of 108 S of the lowermost mantle inferred from studies of nutation and precession of the Earth and decadal variations of length of day (LOD). The secular parts of equatorial rotations are less sensitive to these parameters, but the magnitude for the axial rotations is much smaller than for frictionless model. These models, however, produce oscillating parts in the equatorial rotations of both cores and also in the axial rotations of the whole Earth and outer and inner cores. These oscillations are sensitive to both the magnitude of radial magnetic field at the CMB and the conductivity structure. No sharp isolated spectral peaks are predicted for models with a thin conductive layer (∼200 m) at the bottom of the mantle. In models with a conductive layer of ∼100 km thickness, however, sharp spectral peaks are predicted at periods of ∼225 and ∼25 years for equatorial and axial rotations, respectively, although these depend on the strength of radial magnetic field at the CMB. While the present study is preliminary in modelling the fluid outer core and coupling mechanism at the CMB, the predicted axial rotations of the whole Earth may be important in explaining the observed LOD through interaction between the equatorial and axial rotations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-147
Number of pages35
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Volume154
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 16 2006

Fingerprint

Earth core
ice
Pleistocene
core-mantle boundary
outer core
inner core
magnetic field
torque
Earth mantle
magnetic fields
mantle
conductivity
nutation
decadal variation
fluid
fluids
precession

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Axial and equatorial rotations of the Earth's cores associated with the Quaternary ice age. / Nakada, Masao.

In: Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, Vol. 154, No. 2, 16.02.2006, p. 113-147.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{c86b62f41cfb4a31b80ec795015709e0,
title = "Axial and equatorial rotations of the Earth's cores associated with the Quaternary ice age",
abstract = "The differential axial and equatorial rotations of both cores associated with the Quaternary glacial cycles were evaluated based on a realistic earth model in density and elastic structures. The rheological model is composed of compressible Maxwell viscoelastic mantle, inviscid outer core and incompressible Maxwell viscoelastic inner core. The present study is, however, preliminary because I assume a rigid rotation for the fluid outer core. In models with no frictional torques at the boundaries of the outer core, the maximum magnitude of the predicted axial rotations of the outer and inner cores amounts to ∼2° year-1 and ∼1° year-1, respectively, but that for the secular equatorial rotations of both cores is ∼0.0001° at most. However, oscillating parts with a period of ∼225 years are predicted in the equatorial rotations for both cores. Then, I evaluated the differential rotations by adopting a time-dependent electromagnetic (EM) torque as a possible coupling mechanism at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) and inner core boundary (ICB). In a realistic radial magnetic field at the CMB estimated from surface magnetic field, the axial and equatorial rotations couple through frictional torques at the CMB, although these rotations decouple for dipole magnetic field model. The differential rotations were evaluated for conductivity models with a conductance of 108 S of the lowermost mantle inferred from studies of nutation and precession of the Earth and decadal variations of length of day (LOD). The secular parts of equatorial rotations are less sensitive to these parameters, but the magnitude for the axial rotations is much smaller than for frictionless model. These models, however, produce oscillating parts in the equatorial rotations of both cores and also in the axial rotations of the whole Earth and outer and inner cores. These oscillations are sensitive to both the magnitude of radial magnetic field at the CMB and the conductivity structure. No sharp isolated spectral peaks are predicted for models with a thin conductive layer (∼200 m) at the bottom of the mantle. In models with a conductive layer of ∼100 km thickness, however, sharp spectral peaks are predicted at periods of ∼225 and ∼25 years for equatorial and axial rotations, respectively, although these depend on the strength of radial magnetic field at the CMB. While the present study is preliminary in modelling the fluid outer core and coupling mechanism at the CMB, the predicted axial rotations of the whole Earth may be important in explaining the observed LOD through interaction between the equatorial and axial rotations.",
author = "Masao Nakada",
year = "2006",
month = "2",
day = "16",
doi = "10.1016/j.pepi.2005.08.004",
language = "English",
volume = "154",
pages = "113--147",
journal = "Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors",
issn = "0031-9201",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Axial and equatorial rotations of the Earth's cores associated with the Quaternary ice age

AU - Nakada, Masao

PY - 2006/2/16

Y1 - 2006/2/16

N2 - The differential axial and equatorial rotations of both cores associated with the Quaternary glacial cycles were evaluated based on a realistic earth model in density and elastic structures. The rheological model is composed of compressible Maxwell viscoelastic mantle, inviscid outer core and incompressible Maxwell viscoelastic inner core. The present study is, however, preliminary because I assume a rigid rotation for the fluid outer core. In models with no frictional torques at the boundaries of the outer core, the maximum magnitude of the predicted axial rotations of the outer and inner cores amounts to ∼2° year-1 and ∼1° year-1, respectively, but that for the secular equatorial rotations of both cores is ∼0.0001° at most. However, oscillating parts with a period of ∼225 years are predicted in the equatorial rotations for both cores. Then, I evaluated the differential rotations by adopting a time-dependent electromagnetic (EM) torque as a possible coupling mechanism at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) and inner core boundary (ICB). In a realistic radial magnetic field at the CMB estimated from surface magnetic field, the axial and equatorial rotations couple through frictional torques at the CMB, although these rotations decouple for dipole magnetic field model. The differential rotations were evaluated for conductivity models with a conductance of 108 S of the lowermost mantle inferred from studies of nutation and precession of the Earth and decadal variations of length of day (LOD). The secular parts of equatorial rotations are less sensitive to these parameters, but the magnitude for the axial rotations is much smaller than for frictionless model. These models, however, produce oscillating parts in the equatorial rotations of both cores and also in the axial rotations of the whole Earth and outer and inner cores. These oscillations are sensitive to both the magnitude of radial magnetic field at the CMB and the conductivity structure. No sharp isolated spectral peaks are predicted for models with a thin conductive layer (∼200 m) at the bottom of the mantle. In models with a conductive layer of ∼100 km thickness, however, sharp spectral peaks are predicted at periods of ∼225 and ∼25 years for equatorial and axial rotations, respectively, although these depend on the strength of radial magnetic field at the CMB. While the present study is preliminary in modelling the fluid outer core and coupling mechanism at the CMB, the predicted axial rotations of the whole Earth may be important in explaining the observed LOD through interaction between the equatorial and axial rotations.

AB - The differential axial and equatorial rotations of both cores associated with the Quaternary glacial cycles were evaluated based on a realistic earth model in density and elastic structures. The rheological model is composed of compressible Maxwell viscoelastic mantle, inviscid outer core and incompressible Maxwell viscoelastic inner core. The present study is, however, preliminary because I assume a rigid rotation for the fluid outer core. In models with no frictional torques at the boundaries of the outer core, the maximum magnitude of the predicted axial rotations of the outer and inner cores amounts to ∼2° year-1 and ∼1° year-1, respectively, but that for the secular equatorial rotations of both cores is ∼0.0001° at most. However, oscillating parts with a period of ∼225 years are predicted in the equatorial rotations for both cores. Then, I evaluated the differential rotations by adopting a time-dependent electromagnetic (EM) torque as a possible coupling mechanism at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) and inner core boundary (ICB). In a realistic radial magnetic field at the CMB estimated from surface magnetic field, the axial and equatorial rotations couple through frictional torques at the CMB, although these rotations decouple for dipole magnetic field model. The differential rotations were evaluated for conductivity models with a conductance of 108 S of the lowermost mantle inferred from studies of nutation and precession of the Earth and decadal variations of length of day (LOD). The secular parts of equatorial rotations are less sensitive to these parameters, but the magnitude for the axial rotations is much smaller than for frictionless model. These models, however, produce oscillating parts in the equatorial rotations of both cores and also in the axial rotations of the whole Earth and outer and inner cores. These oscillations are sensitive to both the magnitude of radial magnetic field at the CMB and the conductivity structure. No sharp isolated spectral peaks are predicted for models with a thin conductive layer (∼200 m) at the bottom of the mantle. In models with a conductive layer of ∼100 km thickness, however, sharp spectral peaks are predicted at periods of ∼225 and ∼25 years for equatorial and axial rotations, respectively, although these depend on the strength of radial magnetic field at the CMB. While the present study is preliminary in modelling the fluid outer core and coupling mechanism at the CMB, the predicted axial rotations of the whole Earth may be important in explaining the observed LOD through interaction between the equatorial and axial rotations.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=31744446101&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=31744446101&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.pepi.2005.08.004

DO - 10.1016/j.pepi.2005.08.004

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:31744446101

VL - 154

SP - 113

EP - 147

JO - Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors

JF - Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors

SN - 0031-9201

IS - 2

ER -