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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics

Excitement of torsional waves in Earth’s core

Supervisors

Dr Phil Livermore (School of Earth and Environment) - lead academic supervisor, Dr Jon Mound (School of Earth and Environment) and Prof Rainer Hollerbach (School of Mathematics)

Theme(s)

Geophysical Flows

Summary

The Earth’s liquid core is a very remote place indeed – we know relatively very little about its structure and dynamics because direct observation is not possible. In the last few decades, there has been mounting evidence of so-called torsional waves, inferred through movement of the magnetic field with which the waves interact. However, the theory available to explain these waves is somewhat behind the observations: we don’t yet understand how the waves are excited or even in which direction they travel. This project, spanning both geophysics and applied mathematics, aims to investigate the excitation mechanism of these waves by using numerical high-resolution supercomputer models of the core. By testing a variety of proposed theoretical triggering mechanisms, the student will model the ensuing evolution of the waves and compare the results with the observations.