Inner Core Rotation Rate from Small-Scale Heterogeneity and Time-Varying Travel Times

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Science  14 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5341, pp. 1284-1288
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5341.1284

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The time it takes seismic waves to propagate from South Atlantic earthquakes through the inner core to station COL in Alaska has decreased systematically over the past 30 years. Travel times from three earthquakes in 1991 to an array of 37 seismometers in Alaska suggest that lateral gradients in seismic wavespeeds are steep in this part of the inner core. This combination of observations can be explained by postulating that the inner core is rotating 0.2° to 0.3° per year faster than the mantle.

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