Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Harsh K. Gupta

Earth’s Structure, Core

  • Lianxing WenEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10475-7_150-1


Structure ofEarth’s core is referred to as the properties of velocity, density, attenuation, anisotropy, composition, and surface feature of Earth’s core and how these properties change with depth, geographic location, and time.

Attenuation is a measure of material’s ability to absorb energy as seismic waves pass through it.

Anisotropy is a material property that is directionally dependent.

Mushy zone is a layer of mixing solid inner core and liquid outer core materials.

Overall Structure

The Earth’s core occupies the center portion of Earth with a radius of 3480 km. It consists of a liquid outer core and a solid inner core. Earth’s core is composed of Fe/Ni and some minor light elements, such as S, C, O, and Si. Those light elements are preferentially enriched in the outer core after the continuing solidification of outer core material to the inner core. Seismic compressional velocity and density exhibit jumps at the inner core boundary at a radius of about 1221 km. The...
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA