Earth's core

Delhi, Jan 25: A new study has now revealed that the Earth’s inner core recently stopped spinning and then changed its spin orientation in the opposite direction.

We do not feel churnings taking place below the surface of the planet except we’re shaken with the aid of using violent swirling or crushing fault lines in the form of an earthquake or volcanic explosion.

The study published in Nature Geoscience states that the globally consistent pattern suggests that inner-core rotation has recently paused. The rotation came to a grinding halt in 2009 after which it fantastically grew to become in an opposite direction. Researchers have long believed that the inner core rotates, relative to the Earth’s surface, back and forth, like a swing.

Earth's core

“One cycle of the swing is about seven decades, meaning it changes direction roughly every 35 years. It previously changed direction in the early 1970s, and predicted the next about-face would be in the mid-2040s,” the researchers from China’s Peking University informed.


Earth’s layers are divided into three parts: the crust, mantle, and core.

Earth’s inner core was first discovered in 1936 as researchers were studying seismic waves from earthquakes that travel throughout the planet. It was the change in the waves that revealed Earth’s core, which is around 7000 kilometers wide and made up of a solid center of iron wrapped inside the shell of liquid iron.

Earth's core

A 1996 study in Nature found that the travel times of seismic waves that traverse the Earth’s inner core show a small but systematic variation over the past three decades.

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This variation is best explained by a rotation of the inner core and the rotation rate is on the order of 1° per year faster than the daily rotation of the mantle and crust.

The team from Peking University analyzed earthquakes more often than not from between 1995 and 2021 and the evaluation found that someday around 2009 the middle stopped spinning and is probably withinside the procedure of converting the spinning route.

Earth's core


Researchers have stated that the rotation of the middle is associated with the modifications withinside the period of the day and it may cause small versions withinside the genuine time it takes for Earth to rotate on its axis and that there are hyperlinks among the special layers of the planet-crust, mantle, and middle.

The team said that the observations provide evidence for dynamic interactions between the Earth’s layers, from the deepest interior to the surface, potentially due to gravitational coupling and the exchange of angular momentum from the core and mantle to the surface.

“We hope our study can motivate some researchers to build and test models which treat the whole Earth as an integrated dynamic system,” they said, adding that so far there is no evidence to suggest that the change in the spinning could affect people living on the surface of the planet.