University of Leeds, UK
Title: The influence of lateral variations in thermal boundary conditions on outer core convection
Time: 3:30–4:30 pm, Friday, Jan. 27th, 2017
Location: IGPP Conference Room (Munk 303)
The Earth's main magnetic field is generated by convection in the liquid iron outer core. The structure and time variation of the magnetic field are linked to the dynamics of the core flow. Convection in the core occurs due to the generation of anomalously buoyant material at the inner-core and core-mantle boundaries. Lateral variations in this buoyancy generation occur due to convection in the silicate mantle, and possibly the solid inner core. We study the potential influence of these boundary conditions using numerical models of core dynamics. We find that boundary heterogeneity can alter characteristics of the convection such as the global efficiency of heat transport and leave an imprint in the time-averaged flow that might result in observable features in the magnetic field.