It has been discovered that not only is the Earth’s solid inner core older than previously thought, but it is also cooling at a slower rate.
The inner core was thought to be between a half billion and one billion years old, Phys.org reported. That estimate was adjusted upward to the range of one to one and a half billion years old.
The reason for the change in estimates comes from new information regarding how rocks cool from magma. Scientists now believe that there is less heat being transferred to the surface, meaning the solid core underneath is cooling slower and also that the heat transfer has less of a role on the crust of the Earth than believed.
According to palaeomagnetism expert and lead author of the article published in the journal Nature, Dr. Andy Biggin, the results of the study “suggest that the Earth’s core is cooling down less quickly than previously thought which has implications for the whole of Earth Sciences.”
The results suggest that the Earth’s core is cooling down less quickly than previously thought which has implications for the whole of Earth Sciences.
Tech Times provides information about a group of scientists from the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Liverpool in England analyzed magnetic records from ancient igneous rocks. There was a significant difference in magnetic field strengths between one and one and a half billion years ago, which they believe shows when the inner core started to freeze and turn solid.
It is interesting that the Pluto sized iron inner core of the Earth is solid even though iron has a melting point of around 1,500 degrees Celsius. The core about is 3,000 degrees but is so highly pressurize that the core stays solid. As the Earth cools down, the inner core expands at a rate of approximately one millimeter per year.
All this information helps scientists determine how the Earth came about and developed into the state that it is currently in. It also helps predict future patterns and trends.
In related news, research is also being done on Earth’s gravitational pull on the moon.