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  Convective Erosion of a Primordial Stratification Atop Earth's Core

Bouffard, M., Landeau, M., & Goument, A. (2020). Convective Erosion of a Primordial Stratification Atop Earth's Core. Geophysical Research Letters, 47(14): 87109. doi:10.1029/2020GL087109.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-0AE2-F Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-0AE3-E
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Bouffard, Mathieu1, Author              
Landeau, M., Author
Goument, A., Author
Affiliations:
1Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832288              

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 Abstract: Seismic and geomagnetic observations suggest the presence of a stratified layer atop Earth's core. Previous laboratory experiments showed that this layer could be primordial, produced by a collision between the primitive Earth and a giant impactor. However, paleomagnetic data require turbulent flow motions in the core for the last 3.4 Ga. Such flows can erode an existing stratification. It is therefore unclear whether a primordial stratification still exists nowadays. Here, we use numerical simulations to investigate the erosion by thermal convection of a chemical layer atop Earth's core. Our scaling law predicts that a primordial layer thicker than 1 km with a density anomaly above 0.01% can survive 4.5 Ga of convective erosion. We conclude that the observed present-day stratification could be a vestige of core formation. We also observe strong double-diffusive flows in the layer. These might reconcile the existence of a stratification with the present-day structure of the geomagnetic field.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1029/2020GL087109
 Degree: -

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Title: Geophysical Research Letters
  Abbreviation : GRL
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Washington, D.C. : American Geophysical Union / Wiley
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 47 (14) Sequence Number: 87109 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0094-8276
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925465217