Superrotation of Earth’s Inner Core, Extraterrestrial Impacts, and the Effective Viscosity of Outer Core

Article English OPEN
Pirooz Mohazzabi ; John D. Skalbeck (2015)
  • Publisher: Hindawi Limited
  • Journal: International Journal of Geophysics (issn: 1687-885X, eissn: 1687-8868)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1155/2015/763716
  • Subject: Geophysics. Cosmic physics | Article Subject | QC801-809
    arxiv: Physics::Geophysics | Astrophysics::Earth and Planetary Astrophysics

The recently verified superrotation of Earth’s inner core is examined and a new model is presented which is based on the tidal despinning of the mantle and the viscosity of the outer core. The model also takes into account other damping mechanisms arising from the inner core superrotation such as magnetic and gravitational coupling as well as contribution from eddy viscosity in the outer core. The effective viscosity obtained in this model confirms a previously well constrained value of about 103 Pa s. In addition, the model shows that the currently measured superrotation of the inner core must be almost exactly equal to its asymptotic or steady-state value. The effect of extraterrestrial impacts is also investigated, and it is shown that perturbations due to such impacts can only persist over a short geological time.
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