Rotation and Magnetism of Earth's Inner Core

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Science  13 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5294, pp. 1887-1891
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5294.1887


Three-dimensional numerical simulations of the geodynamo suggest that a superrotation of Earth's solid inner core relative to the mantle is maintained by magnetic coupling between the inner core and an eastward thermal wind in the fluid outer core. This mechanism, which is analogous to a synchronous motor, also plays a fundamental role in the generation of Earth's magnetic field.