Earth's Outer Core
Get Earth's Outer Core essential facts below. View Videos or join the Earth's Outer Core discussion. Add Earth's Outer Core to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Earth's Outer Core
The internal structure of Earth

Earth's outer core is a fluid layer about 2,400 km (1,500 mi) thick and composed of mostly iron and nickel that lies above Earth's solid inner core and below its mantle.[1] Its outer boundary lies 2,890 km (1,800 mi) beneath Earth's surface. The transition between the inner core and outer core is located approximately 5,150 km (3,200 mi) beneath the Earth's surface. Unlike the inner (or solid[2]) core, the outer core is liquid.


Seismic inversions of body waves and normal modes constrain the radius of the outer core to be 3483 km with an uncertainty of 5 km, while that of the inner core is 1220±10 km.[3]:94

Estimates for the temperature of the outer core are about 3,000-4,500 K (2,730-4,230 °C; 4,940-7,640 °F) in its outer region and 4,000-8,000 K (3,730-7,730 °C; 6,740-13,940 °F) near the inner core.[4] Evidence for a fluid outer core includes seismology which shows that seismic shear-waves are not transmitted through the outer core.[5] Because of its high temperature, modeling work has shown that the outer core is a low-viscosity fluid that convects turbulently.[4] The dynamo theory sees eddy currents in the nickel-iron fluid of the outer core as principal source of the Earth's magnetic field. The average magnetic field strength in the Earth's outer core is estimated to be 2.5 millitesla, 50 times stronger than the magnetic field at the surface.[6][7] The outer core is not under enough pressure to be solid, so it is liquid even though it has a composition similar to the inner core. Sulfur and oxygen could be present in the outer core.[8]

As heat is transferred outward toward the mantle, the net trend is for the inner boundary of the liquid region to freeze, causing the solid inner core to grow at expense of the outer core, at an estimated rate of 1 mm per year.[9]


  1. ^ "Earth's Interior". Science & Innovation. National Geographic. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Gutenberg, Beno (2016). Physics of the Earth's interior. Academic Press. pp. 101-118. ISBN 978-1-4832-8212-1.
  3. ^ Ahrens, Thomas J., ed. (1995). Global earth physics a handbook of physical constants (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union. ISBN 9780875908519.
  4. ^ a b De Wijs, Gilles A.; Kresse, Georg; Vo?adlo, Lidunka; Dobson, David; Alfè, Dario; Gillan, Michael J.; Price, Geoffrey D. (1998). "The viscosity of liquid iron at the physical conditions of the Earth's core" (PDF). Nature. 392 (6678): 805. Bibcode:1998Natur.392..805D. doi:10.1038/33905. S2CID 205003051.
  5. ^ Jeffreys, Harold (1 June 1926). "The Rigidity of the Earth's Central Core". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 1: 371-383. Bibcode:1926GeoJ....1..371J. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.1926.tb05385.x. ISSN 1365-246X.
  6. ^ Staff writer (17 December 2010). "First Measurement Of Magnetic Field Inside Earth's Core". Science 2.0. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Buffett, Bruce A. (2010). "Tidal dissipation and the strength of the Earth's internal magnetic field". Nature. 468 (7326): 952-4. Bibcode:2010Natur.468..952B. doi:10.1038/nature09643. PMID 21164483. S2CID 4431270.
  8. ^ Gubbins, David; Sreenivasan, Binod; Mound, Jon; Rost, Sebastian (May 19, 2011). "Melting of the Earth's inner core". Nature. 473 (7347): 361-363. Bibcode:2011Natur.473..361G. doi:10.1038/nature10068. PMID 21593868. S2CID 4412560.
  9. ^ Waszek, Lauren; Irving, Jessica; Deuss, Arwen (2011). "Reconciling the hemispherical structure of Earth's inner core with its super-rotation". Nature Geoscience. 4 (4): 264-267. Bibcode:2011NatGe...4..264W. doi:10.1038/ngeo1083.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes