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The geophysics (and 1 solar physics) linkety-link September 7, 2010

Posted by mareserinitatis in geophysics, science, solar physics.
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New View of Tectonic Plates: Computer Modeling of Earth’s Mantle Flow, Plate Motions, and Fault Zones: This article on Science Daily gives an overview of a new model that examines the interplay between mantle flow, tectonic motion, and fault zone behavior. (The original article is here, but it’s behind a pay wall.) The authors have taken an adaptive algorithm, which can create a finer mesh in areas where more detail is needed, and modified it so that it can be used on distributed computing systems. Many models utilize regularly spaced meshes. It would be really cool to develop a model that incorporates the behavior of all parts and scales of the Earth system, and this model may be a step in that direction.

ScienceNews had an article on what may have been an uber-fast magnetic field reversal. I’ll be interested to see what other people say on this one. One friend noted that the thermal history of the area is complicated and thus may not be a good candidate for this type of study, but I’m not sure how you could find this with something less complicated. Anyway, it would have some interesting implications if the field actually can flip this fast…or at least have an excursion.

Discovery News has an article on a proposal that the Yellowstone hotspot may have shredded the Juan de Fuca plate, thus slowing down the rate of subduction of the Pacific under North America.

And finally, Dave Jones from EEVblog sent this one out over Twitter: something from the sun, possibly neutrinos, might change the rate of decay for radioactive elements on Earth. That’s just cool.

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Comments»

1. Fluxor - September 7, 2010

RE: radioactive decay. I knew it! The Young Earth proponents were right all along!

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mareserinitatis - September 8, 2010

I’m already cringing to hear what they once they get a hold of this.

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