South Atlantic Anomaly,radically changes the Earth's magnetic field

South Atlantic Anomaly,radically changes the Earth’s magnetic field

South Atlantic Anomaly

Scientists warn that something is wrong with our planet. More precisely, they are concerned about a certain area where the magnetic field is so weak that it is dangerous for the Earth’s satellites to pass through it because the high cosmic radiation in this area can destroy the electronics.

A region that worries scientists at the moment is the South Atlantic Anomaly – a vast area stretching from Chile to Zimbabwe. Here, the magnetic field is so weak that it is dangerous for the Earth’s satellites to pass through it because the high cosmic radiation in this area can destroy the electronics. Now a team of American researchers has found a possible reason for this anomaly, which, among other things, can pave the way for a better understanding of the weakening and reversal of magnetic poles.

South Atlantic Anomaly
Radiation flux at 800 km altitude and 98 degree inclination. The South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) is the region of increased radiation in the southern hemisphere.
“We have known for some time that this magnetic field is changing, but I did not know if this is unusual for the region on a larger scale of time, or if it was normal,” said Vincent Hare, one of the research team members at Rochester University in New York.
South Atlantic Anomaly
Vincent Hare

The current weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field – which occurred over the past 160 years – has probably taken place due to a vast dense rock reservoir that is about 2,900 kilometres below the African continent, writes Science Alert.

“It’s a profound feature that can be tens of millions of years old,” the researchers said. “Though it has an area of thousands of kilometres, its boundaries are clear.”

This dense region, which lies between the liquid iron in the outer core of the Earth and the more rigid region of the mantle, “disturbs” the iron that helps generate the magnetic field.

As the researchers explain, the conventional idea of reversing the poles is that it can happen anywhere in the core, but the last discovery shows that what happens in the magnetic field above us can be related to phenomena that occur in some regions of the core border -mantle. If they are right, an important aspect of knowing the reason/reasons for the weakening of the magnetic field has been revealed along with a new, more complex theoretical framework explaining the inversion of the poles.

South Atlantic Anomaly
The South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) is an area where the Earth's inner Van Allen radiation belt comes closest to the Earth's surface dipping down to an altitude of 200km.

Discoveries on the magnetic field reveal the dramatic past of the Earth

The satellites mapped the top of the Earth’s magnetic field, collecting data for three years, and finding amazing features of Earth’s crust. The result of this study is the most detailed map of the magnetic field and also provides the opportunity to study some of the most bizarre features of the magnetic field, Science Daily reports. This “lithospheric magnetic field” has been difficult to detect so far, but the Swarm satellites have made this possible. In this note, Nils Olsen, one of the researchers who participated in this study at the Technical University of Denmark, states that “it was possible to extract tiny magnetic signals from magnetizing the crust with unmatched accuracy.” This map helps define the magnetic field to a depth of 250 km in the lithosphere.

South Atlantic Anomaly
A model of the vertical component of the lithospheric field; strongest lithospheric

Swarm consists of three identical satellites launched by ESA to monitor the Earth’s magnetic field. This resulting map showed some amazing things, one of which is an anomaly in the Central Republic, more precisely around Bangui, where the magnetic field is stronger. The cause of this anomaly is still unknown, but scientists indicate the possibility of a meteorite impact 540 million years ago.

Also, the new map can provide essential clues to the reversal of the Earth’s poles, which is one of the things most often discussed in the scientific community. It is speculated that such a change of poles can be a major risk for humanity, in this case, for everything related to modern technology.

With the help of this mapping, the history of the change of poles could be more clearly observed, considering the orientation directions of the metallic formations resulting from the volcanic activity.

Dhananjay Ravat, of the University of Kentucky, United States, states that “these magnetic strips are evidence of pole inversion and magnetic trace analysis on the ocean floor, and allow us to reconstruct magnetic field changes in Earth’s history.”

It is unnecessary to mention the crucial importance of Earth’s magnetic field, given the crucial role it plays in many processes essential for the formation and sustaining of life, from the tectonic plate movements to the protection against solar radiation.

Thus, a better understanding of it will help in many scientific fields (still) too little explored.

References:
  1. https://www.sciencealert.com
  2. http://www.descopera.ro

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