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A model for the geomagnetic field reversal rate and constraints on the heat flux variations at the core-mantle boundary

Abstract : A striking feature of many natural magnetic fields generated by dynamo action is the occurrence of polarity reversals. Paleomagnetic measurements revealed that the Earth's magnetic field has been characterised by few hundred stochastic polarity switches during its history. The rate of reversals changes in time, maybe obeying some underlying regular pattern. While chaotic dynamical systems can describe the short-term behaviour of the switches of the Earth's magnetic polarity, modelling the long-term variations of the reversal rate is somewhat problematic, as they occur on timescales of tens to hundreds of millions of years, of the order of mantle convection timescales. By investigating data of geomagnetic reversal rates, we find the presence of cycles with variable frequency and show that the transition towards periods where reversals do not occur for tens of million years (superchrons) can be described by a second-order phase transition that we interpret to be driven by variations of the heat flux at the core-mantle boundary (CMB). The model allows us to extract from the reversal sequence quantitative information on the susceptibility of the reversal rate caused by changes in the CMB heat flux amplitude, thus providing direct information on the deep inner layers of the Earth.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03717007
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Submitted on : Friday, July 8, 2022 - 7:04:21 AM
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Vincenzo Carbone, Tommaso Alberti, Fabio Lepreti, Antonio Vecchio. A model for the geomagnetic field reversal rate and constraints on the heat flux variations at the core-mantle boundary. Scientific Reports, 2020, 10, ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-69916-w⟩. ⟨insu-03717007⟩

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