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Shear properties of Earth’s inner core constrained by a detection of J waves in global correlation wavefield

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Science  19 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6412, pp. 329-332
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau7649

A solid and squishy inner core

Earth's inner core is thought to be solid, which means it should support shear waves. However, the small size of the inner core makes detecting shear waves very difficult. Tkalčić and Phạm correlated different types of seismic phases to finally determine the speed of shear waves in Earth's inner core (see the Perspective by Irving). The detection of the waves closes an 80-year quest to find them and confirms a solid, but soft, inner core.

Science, this issue p. 329; see also p. 294

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