A Window to Earth’s Core Dynamics

Numerical dynamo simulations for the interpretation of SWARM data

Geomagnetic observations provide a window into the state and dynamics of Earth’s core. For decades, researchers have tried to invert magnetic field changes for the flow at the top of Earth’s core. However, this inversion is inherently underdetermined and suffers from the lack of information on the small scale core field components. More or less warranted additional assumptions and strong regularizations are typically used to overcome these deficiencies. We promote a combination of newest geomagnetic field models and state-of-the-art dynamo simulations as a new alternative approach, focusing on the short term fluctuations of Earth internal field. Different numerical dynamo simulations will provide the statistical information on the internal dynamical evolution and serve as a prior for the Kalman filter inversion of geomagnetic field data, using the newest measurements from ESA’s SWARM mission. The global coverage of the Earth by the Swarm constellation associated with the new-generation instruments equipping its three satellites allow this mission to provide core magnetic field and secular variation data of unprecedented quality in both the spatial and the temporal domain. The method we propose to implement in this project is completely designed to take advantage of this jump in technological advances in measurement and numerical dynamo modelling.

Earth's magnetic field is produced in the liquid iron core. Changes in Earth's magnetic field are the only way to infer the core dynamics.

The candidate will mainly work on advanced numerical dynamo simulations, using the MHD code MagIC. Data assimilation techniques similar to those used in weather prediction will then be used to link the statistical information from the simulation with magnetic field measurements. This will be done in collaboration with the University of Potsdam and the IPGP in Paris. The project requires mathematical skills and interest in numerical simulations and programming. Some background in dynamo theory would also be an advantage.

The MPS is an equal opportunity employer and places particular emphasis on providing career opportunities for women. Applications of
handicapped persons are encouraged and will be favored in case of comparable qualifications.

The position is available immediately. Applications completed by October 1, 2015 will receive full consideration.

How to apply

To apply, please use our web service. If you visit this website for the first time you have to register at our online system. Otherwise please login with your username and password. For this project, you will be applying "outside the regular recruitment cycle". When prompted for the funding line of the project you are applying for, please indicate "DFG project: A Window to Earth’s Core Dynamics" and provide the link to this project web page. In the drop-down menu for project priorities, please select "Planets and Comets - Planetary Interiors" then give the project title, the advisor name and a short description in your own words.

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