FP TrendingJun 17, 2020 09:41:58 IST
Scientists are currently using seismic waves to explore the Earth's interior. Their approach will help reveal what the Earth's core looks like.
According to a study published in Science, the scientists have now taken to a new technique originally designed to explore the cosmos to find information about structures inside the Earth.
The seismic wave technique requires researchers to wait for an earthquake to record data and when it happens, they obtain information in a piecemeal manner as the data is restricted to a tiny region. Another drawback of this approach is that most of the time it is impossible to distinguish weaker echoes from noise.
To overcome the drawbacks of the seismic wave technique, a team of space and earth scientists used an algorithm, named the Sequencer, to analyze thousands of seismograms collected over the past 30 years. The Sequencer was originally developed to find interesting trends in astronomical datasets.
"With this new way to look at the data globally, we were able to see weak signals much more clearly," says Brice Ménard, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University and one of the team members.
Deploying the new technique, they were able to identify the seismic echoes and use them to create a map, added Ménard.
The algorithm was used by the team to examine thousands of seismograms for echoes to create a new map which presents details of the Earth's mantle, just above the liquid iron core, at a depth of 3,000 kilometres.
The map reveals a large area under the Pacific and shows hot and dense regions below Hawaii and the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.
According to a report in Science Daily, Doyeon Kim, a postdoctoral fellow in the UMD Department of Geology and the lead author of the paper said that by looking at thousands of core-mantle boundary echoes at once they achieved a new perspective.
"This is showing us that the core-mantle boundary region has lots of structures that can produce these echoes, and that was something we didn't realize before because we only had a narrow view," Kim said.
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