Dynamo constraints on the long-term evolution of Earth's magnetic field strength

Davies, Christopher J, Bono, Richard K ORCID: 0000-0002-8222-2218, Meduri, Domenico G, Aubert, Julien, Greenwood, Samuel and Biggin, Andrew J ORCID: 0000-0003-4164-5924
(2022) Dynamo constraints on the long-term evolution of Earth's magnetic field strength. GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, 228 (1). pp. 316-336.

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<jats:title>SUMMARY</jats:title> <jats:p>Elucidating the processes in the liquid core that have produced observed palaeointensity changes over the last 3.5 Gyr is crucial for understanding the dynamics and long-term evolution of Earth’s deep interior. We combine numerical geodynamo simulations with theoretical scaling laws to investigate the variation of Earth’s magnetic field strength over geological time. Our approach follows the study of Aubert et al., adapted to include recent advances in numerical simulations, mineral physics and palaeomagnetism. We first compare the field strength within the dynamo region and on the core–mantle boundary (CMB) between a suite of 314 dynamo simulations and two power-based theoretical scaling laws. The scaling laws are both based on a Quasi-Geostropic (QG) force balance at leading order and a Magnetic, Archimedian, and Coriolis (MAC) balance at first order and differ in treating the characteristic length scale of the convection as fixed (QG-MAC-fixed) or determined as part of the solution (QG-MAC-free). When the data set is filtered to retain only simulations with magnetic to kinetic energy ratios greater than at least two we find that the internal field together with the root-mean-square and dipole CMB fields exhibit power-law behaviour that is compatible with both scalings within uncertainties arising from different heating modes and boundary conditions. However, while the extrapolated intensity based on the QG-MAC-free scaling matches Earth’s modern CMB field, the QG-MAC-fixed prediction shoots too high and also significantly overestimates palaeointensities over the last 3.5 Gyr. We combine the QG-MAC-free scaling with outputs from 275 realizations of core–mantle thermal evolution to construct synthetic true dipole moment (TDM) curves spanning the last 3.5 Gyr. Best-fitting TDMs reproduce binned PINT data during the Bruhnes and before inner core nucleation (ICN) within observational uncertainties, but PINT does not contain the predicted strong increase and subsequent high TDMs during the early stages of inner core growth. The best-fitting models are obtained for a present-day CMB heat flow of 11–16 TW, increasing to 17–22 TW at 4 Ga, and predict a minimum TDM at ICN.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dynamo: theories and simulations, Magnetic field variations through time, Palaeointensity, Palaeomagnetic secular
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2021 12:18
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:19
DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggab342
Open Access URL: https://academic.oup.com/gji/article/228/1/316/635...
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URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3145406