Hotspots at the core of the earth are responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian Islands.
Scientists have discovered another layer deep inside the earth’s core, a new study suggests.
“Traditionally, we have been taught that the Earth has four main layers: the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core,” said Australian national geophysicist and study author Joanne Stephenson.
Now a team of researchers from the university has confirmed the existence of what it calls the Earth’s “inner inner core.”
To study the Earth’s core, the team used a search algorithm to trawl through and match thousands of models of the inner core with data observed for decades on how long seismic waves take to travel through the Earth, ScienceAlert reported.
By analyzing how the different layers cause the sound waves to slow down, researchers can get a glimpse of what lies beneath, Discover magazine said.
Although this new layer is difficult to observe, its existence may point to an unknown, dramatic event in Earth’s history, according to the study.
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“We found evidence that may indicate a change in iron structure, suggesting perhaps two separate cooling events in Earth’s history,” Stephenson said in a statement. “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.”
The idea of another separate layer in the core has been around for a few decades, but the data has so far been unclear. “We got around this by using a very smart search algorithm to trawl through thousands of the models of the inner core,” Stephenson said.
She added that studying the structure of the inner core can help us understand more about the history and evolution of the Earth.
“It is very exciting – and may mean that we have to rewrite the textbooks!”, She said.
The study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.
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