Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

Initially described in 1978, geomagnetic jerks are unpredictable events that abruptly accelerate the evolution of the Earth’s magnetic field, and skew predictions of its behaviour on a multi-year scale. Researchers know of two types of movements that cause two types of variations in the magnetic field: those resulting from slow convection movement, which can be measured on the scale of a century, and those resulting from “rapid” hydromagnetic waves, which can be detected on the scale of a few years. Researchers were subsequently able to reproduce the succession of events leading to geomagnetic jerks, which arise in the simulation from hydromagnetic waves emitted in the inner core. The digital reproduction and comprehension of these jerks paves the way for better predictions of the Earth’s magnetic field. Identifying the cause of magnetic field variations could also help geophysicists study the physical properties of the Earth’s core and inner mantle.

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