An Observation of PKJKP: Inferences on Inner Core Shear Properties

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Science  03 Jun 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5727, pp. 1453-1455
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109134

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The seismic phase PKJKP, which traverses the inner core as a shear wave and would provide direct evidence for its solidity, has been difficult to detect. Using stacked broadband records from the Gräfenberg array in Germany, we documented a high signal-to-noise phase, the arrival time and slowness of which agree with theoretical predictions for PKJKP. The back azimuth of this arrival is also consistent with predictions for PKJKP, as is the comparison with a pseudoliquid inner core model. Envelope modeling of the PKJKP waveform implies a shear velocity gradient with depth in the inner core that is slightly larger than that in the preliminary reference Earth model.

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