Mars' Paleomagnetic Field as the Result of a Single-Hemisphere Dynamo

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Science  26 Sep 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5897, pp. 1822-1825
DOI: 10.1126/science.1161119

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Mars' crustal magnetic field was most likely generated by dynamo action in the planet's early history. Unexplained characteristics of the field include its strength, concentration in the southern hemisphere, and lack of correlation with any surface features except for the hemispheric crustal dichotomy. We used numerical dynamo modeling to demonstrate that the mechanisms proposed to explain crustal dichotomy formation can result in a single-hemisphere dynamo. This dynamo produces strong magnetic fields in only the southern hemisphere. This magnetic field morphology can explain why Mars' crustal magnetic field intensities are substantially stronger in the southern hemisphere without relying on any postdynamo mechanisms.

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