Core processes

Core processes describe the transfer of heat and material between the Earth’s solid inner core and molten outer core and the exchange of heat across the core-mantle boundary, as well as the convection in the outer core that generates the geomagnetic field.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Transition from a weak and erratic geomagnetic field to a more stable one around 560 million years ago, inferred from palaeomagnetic measurements, suggests that the inner core may have solidified around that time, much later than thought.

    • Peter Driscoll
    Nature Geoscience 12, 83-84
  • News and Views |

    More than 20 GW of power are necessary to balance the heat emitted by Enceladus and avoid the freezing of its internal ocean. A very porous core undergoing tidal heating can generate the required power to maintain a liquid ocean and drive hydrothermal activity.

    • Francis Nimmo
    Nature Astronomy 1, 821-822
  • Editorial |

    Hidden under many kilometres of silicate mantle material, the cores of Earth and other planets are hard to investigate. The Psyche spacecraft, designed to visit a metal body that may be a core stripped of its mantle, could bring a close-up view.

  • News and Views |

    Variability of iron isotopes among planetary bodies may reflect their accretion or differentiation histories. Experiments suggest nickel may be the ingredient controlling iron isotope signatures, supporting fractionation during core formation.

    • Paolo A. Sossi
    Nature Geoscience 10, 249-251
  • News and Views |

    There is potential evidence for a stratified layer at the top of the Earth's core, but its origin is not well understood. Laboratory experiments suggest that the stratified layer could be a sunken remnant of the giant impact that formed the Moon.

    • Miki Nakajima
    Nature Geoscience 9, 734-735
  • News and Views |

    Pinpointing when Earth's core formed depends on the extent of metal–silicate equilibration in the mantle. Vaporization and recondensation of impacting planetesimal cores during accretion may reconcile disparate lines of evidence.

    • William W. Anderson
    Nature Geoscience 8, 256-257