The impact of Earth’s mantle on geomagnetic field reversals

Numerical simulations to better understand the complete reversals of the geodynamo dipole

One of the most striking properties of the geodynamo are complete reversals of the dipole. The reversal frequency changes over geologic time scales typical of mantle convection. Numerical simulations indicate that the lower mantle has a manifold impact on the dynamo where the absolute value and pattern of the heat flux through the core-mantle boundary affects the field strength, field geometry and reversal rate. However, neither the long-term evolution of the lower mantle and the dynamo, nor the coupling between the two are well understood. This forms the basis of the DFG Special Priority Program DeepDyn. Within this program, scientists from different fields will collaborate the study the long-term evolution of Earth’s mantle and dynamo to understand how both are connected.

The PhD student at MPS will conduct numerical simulations of the geodynamo process with the MHD code MagIC. Experts in the dynamics of Earth’s mantle will provide different scenarios for the evolution of the heat flux amplitude and pattern through the core-mantle boundary. Particularly interesting epochs will serve as boundary conditions for a number of dynamo simulations exploring the variations in reversal rate and other magnetic field properties.

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