Researchers discover six-year fluctuations in the rotation of the Earth's core

The researchers used seismic data obtained during atomic testing. New

modeling showed that instead ofconstantly spinning faster than the Earth's surface, as previously thought, the solid inner core oscillates, spinning first in one direction and then in the other at varying speeds.

Back in 1996, seismologists suggested thatEarth's inner core rotates faster than the rest of the planet. This phenomenon, called superrotation, was confirmed by analysis of the propagation of seismic waves caused by an earthquake.

These data were confirmed by the researchers of WeiWang and John Vidale by studying the effects of nuclear tests. In a paper published in 2019, scientists showed that analysis of seismic waves generated by Soviet underground nuclear tests in 1971-74 on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago confirms superrotation.

In the new work, Vidale applied the same technology totwo earlier atomic tests under the island of Amchitka at the tip of the Alaska archipelago - Milrow in 1969 and Kannikin in 1971. By measuring compression waves resulting from nuclear explosions, the researchers found that the inner core had a reverse direction during this period, rotating at least one tenth of a degree per year.

"The inner core is not fixed - itmoving under our feet, and it seems to move back and forth a couple of kilometers every six years,” said John Vidale, a professor at the University of Southern California and co-author of the study.

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