The study of what lies deep, deep beneath our feet, has yielded valuable little details over the last few decades. We all grew up learning that we live on the earth’s crust, which is just a thin layer above the mantle. Below that, the outer core surrounds the inner core and … well, that’s it, or so we thought. Scientists have now offered us an update of this model and believe that the discovery may be specific enough to justify rewriting textbooks.
In a new article published in Journal of Geophysical Research, a small team of scientists says that the most widely accepted model of the Earth’s interior does not necessarily have to worry about the available data. Instead, researchers are proposing a new model that includes a new layer in the inner core and say that based on the data, it could be evidence of a “traumatic event”
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It is claimed that the new layer that the researchers confirm is different from the inner core and will be a new “central inner core” due to the lack of a better term. To do this, the team collected vast amounts of data from seismic events over decades, then tested them on models of the Earth’s interior. They found that the idea of a new base layer was the best way to combine data with a model.
“We have traditionally been taught that the Earth has four basic layers: the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core,” Joan Stephenson, lead author, said in a statement. “The idea for another separate layer was proposed several decades ago, but the data are very vague. We got around this by using a very clever search algorithm to track thousands of models of the inner core. “
Exactly how this newly identified layer formed can be guessed, but it may point to a more complex history of the early formation of the Earth than was previously accepted.
“We have found evidence that may indicate a change in the structure of iron, which suggests perhaps two separate cooling events in Earth’s history. The details of this great event are still a bit of a mystery, but we’ve added another piece of the puzzle when it comes to our knowledge of the Earth’s inner core. “
Discovering a new base layer may not change much when it comes to our daily lives, but it is a big step towards a better understanding of how our planets and others are formed. If we hope to have a solid understanding of the nature of the planets, to understand what lies deep inside them is a prerequisite and quite large.
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