- Journal Article
Mounting evidence from both seismology and numerical experiments on core composition suggests the existence of a layer of stably stratified fluid at the top of Earth’s outer core. In such a layer, a magnetostrophic force balance and suppressed radial motion lead to stringent constraints on the magnetic field, named Malkus constraints, which are a much more restrictive extension of the well known Taylor constraints. Here, we explore the consequences of such constraints for the structure of the core’s internal magnetic field. We provide a new simple derivation of these Malkus constraints, and show solutions exist which can be matched to any external potential field with arbitrary depth of stratified layer. From considerations of these magnetostatic Malkus constraints alone, it is therefore not possible to uniquely infer the depth of the stratified layer from external geomagnetic observations. We examine two models of the geomagnetic field defined within a spherical core, which obey the Taylor constraints in an inner convective region and the Malkus constraints in an outer stratified layer. When matched to a single-epoch geomagnetic potential field model, both models show that the toroidal magnetic field within the outer layer is about 100 times stronger compared to that in the inner region, taking a maximum value of 8 mT at a depth of 70 km. The dynamic regime of such a layer, modulated by suppressed radial motion but also a locally enhanced magnetic field, may therefore be quite distinct from that of any interior dynamo. Show more
Journal / seriesGeophysical Journal International
Pages / Article No.
PublisherOxford University Press
Organisational unit03734 - Jackson, Andrew / Jackson, Andrew
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