Robust Normal Mode Constraints on Inner-Core Anisotropy from Model Space Search

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Science  24 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5606, pp. 552-555
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078159

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A technique for searching full model space that was applied to measurements of anomalously split normal modes showed a robust pattern of P-wave and S-wave anisotropy in the inner core. The parameter describing P-wave anisotropy changes sign around a radius of 400 kilometers, whereas S-wave anisotropy is small in the upper two-thirds of the inner core and becomes negative at greater depths. Our results agree with observed travel-time anomalies of rays traveling at epicentral distances varying from 150° to 180°. The models may be explained by progressively tilted hexagonal close-packed iron in the upper half of the inner core and could suggest a different iron phase in the center.

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