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Updated: Mystery Booms and Inner Earth Core Changes?

© 2015 and 2013 by Linda Moulton Howe

 

“An Earth's 'inner-inner core,' about half the diameter of the whole inner core,
has been found to have iron crystals ... aligned differently, that behave differently
from their counterparts in the outer-inner core. That means the Earth's inner-inner
core could be made of a different type of crystal.”

- Phys.org, February 9, 2015


A research team from the University of Illinois and colleagues in China found
earth's inner core has an inner core of its own, with iron crystals aligned in a different direction.
Credit: Lachina Publishing Services.

“The Earth at depth is a very mysterious place.
When the geophysicist is saying it (infrasound frequency)
goes from the core, transmits through the mantle to the crust,
is able to exit that, get all the way up to the ionosphere and perhaps
get reflected back down - if these frequencies are
very low ... there could be something to this.”

- Arianna Gleason, Ph.D., Geophysicist, Stanford University, 2013

 

Updated February 10, 2015 / June 28, 2013 Jamestown, North Dakota, and Palo Alto, California - The February 9, 2012, journal Nature Geoscience, reported a new research discovery of a small "inner-inner core" inside the Earth's whole inner core that is inside the Earth's outer core that is inside the Earth's mantle and all covered by the Earth's crust was published by T. Wang, X. Song and H. Xia, University of Illinois and Nanjing University, China. See NG link in Websites below.

The scientists tried using seismic sensors to gather wave signals that resonate after earthquakes. The concept is that an earthquake moves rock and dirt layers with huge energy like a hammer striking a bell. The first hit and loud sound are followed by a residual clear tone that lasts longer. It's that clear tone that Song et al used to literally look into the center of the Earth four thousand miles from the surface and made the surprising find of two different inner cores.

Phys.org summarized the discovery this way: "The Earth's inner core, once thought to be a solid ball of iron, has some complex structural properties. An 'inner-inner core,' about half the diameter of the whole inner core, has been found to have iron crystals in the outer layer of the inner core that are aligned directional north-south However, in the inner-inner core, the iron crystals point roughly east-west. ... Not only are the iron crystals in the inner-inner core aligned differently, they behave differently from their counterparts in the outer-inner core. That means the inner-inner core could be made of a different type of crystal." See link at end of this report.

One of the Earth core researchers, Xiaodong Song, Professor of Geology at the University of Illinois, told Phys.org, "We are looking all the way through the center of the Earth," never accomplished before. "The fact that we have two regions of the inner core that are distinctly different might tell us something about how the inner core has been evolving ... it might have had a very dramatic change in its deformation regime. It might hold the key to how the Earth has evolved." Inner Earth changes might also cause the periodic loud booms and other strange sounds heard not only in the modern phase of the boom phenomenon, but might explain periodic boom sounds into the 18th Century and before.

The following is the first Earthfiles report in May 2013 about a possible link between all the mysterious booms and changes ongoing in the Earth's core, thought then to be a singular, solid, spherical iron core. Now with the new University of Illinois and China discovery of an "inner-inner core" and a surrounding inner core inside the outer core inside the mantle surrounded by the Earth's crust all the way up through the atmosphere to the ionosphere, it's possible that infrasound frequencies emanating from the Earth's core could be exiting the Earth, hitting the ionosphere and bouncing back with changing frequencies that can be heard by the human ear.

 

Earthfiles Original Report June 28, 2013

Since my Earthfiles and COAST reports the end of May 2013 about the unexplained boom mystery throughout the United States and possible link to Earth core changes, I have received dozens more unexplained boom reports from Sacramento and Woodland Hills, California; St. George, Utah; Kearney, Nebraska; Pittsburgh and Mercer County, Pennsylvania; Des Moines, Iowa; Grantsburg, Wisconsin; and Jamestown, North Dakota, where Mr. and Mrs. John Nyberg and their three children heard a loud boom on both June 10 and again on June 21st.


Jamestown, North Dakota, is a farming community of
15,000 people 100 miles east of Bismarck.

John is 49-years-old and was born and raised in North Dakota. He served in the U. S. Air Force, left as a Captain and now volunteers for the Civil Air Patrol. He worked for the Goodrich Corporation until February 2008 and now raises wheat, corn and soybeans in the rural farmland of Jamestown. The evening of Monday, June 10th, Mr. Nyberg sent me an email that began: “At 20:44 local central time, my family and I all heard a distinct explosion ... like a fuel-air explosion or a military mortar round, at a distance of one to four miles north of our position.”  The next day I interviewed him about what happened.


Interview:


Play MP3 interview.

John Nyberg, 49, retired USAF Captain, airline structure specialist, Civil Air Patrol volunteer and farmer, Jamestown, North Dakota:  “We all heard an explosion and all of us agreed that it was to the north, northeast. My immediate reaction was to think that either a fuel tank out at the fuel depot at the interstate had an explosion or somebody had an explosion in the field with one of their pieces of (farm) equipment. First thing I did was check my watch.

IT WAS 8:44 PM CENTRAL TIME IN JAMESTOWN, NORTH DAKOTA?

That's right. It was 8:44 PM. I ran outside to the garage and got into the pickup and backed out. My daughter was standing there and I waved at her to jump in and then we took off down the road. We were both scanning the skies, which is something we're kind of used to being in Civil Air Patrol.

WOULD YOU BE LOOKING UP BECAUSE YOU HAD THE SENSATION THAT WHATEVER THIS WAS THAT THERE WAS SOME KIND OF AN EXPLOSIVE SOUND THAT WAS IN THE AIR?

We were looking up. I had no sense that it was below the surface  of the ground and my immediate thought was that it had a slight elevation - 200, 300, 400 or 500 feet of altitude.

We went two miles to the interstate looking for an accident on the interstate and there was absolutely nothing. So we came back to the house. My daughter grabbed her phone and reported to the Sheriff (Stutsman County), who said a deputy would be out later. A couple hours later, the deputy came and I asked him what information he had and he had not gotten anything from anyone or seen anything.

IF YOU WERE COMPARING THE PITCH OF THIS EXPLOSIVE SOUND TO ANYTHING THAT THE REST OF US MIGHT KNOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Well, if anyone has been to an air show and they've seen a simulated bombing attack (of Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941) by the Japanese Zeros (fighter airplanes) that they sometimes show at an air show. They'll use an air fuel device on the ground to simulate the explosions of the bombs and it was similar to that.

YOU HAVE LIVED IN THE JAMESTOWN, NORTH DAKOTA, AREA FOR SOME TIME. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ANY SOUND LIKE THIS EVER BEFORE?

No, no.”

 
Are Earth Core Changes
Linked to Mystery Booms?

As I have reported at Earthfiles and Coast to Coast AM the past couple of months, I have received information about the booms and sinkholes from a source, who allegedly is a geophysicist working on contract for Hill AFB in Utah. The geophysicist says heat changes in the Earth's core are producing infrasound frequencies [ low-frequency sound, lower than 20 Hz (Hertz) or cycles per second, the normal limit of human hearing ] that travel from the core to the Earth's surface and on up through the atmosphere to the ionosphere, then bounce back down to the Earth's surface in either focused points such as a single house or broader areas, such as five counties in Georgia in which hundreds of people reported a loud, ground-shaking boom to 9-1-1 and law enforcement. But no cause was found in Georgia or anywhere else and the loud boom mystery persists.


March 15, 2012, TV headline by News4Jax.com, Jacksonville, Florida.

The five southeastern Georgia counties where the very loud, window-rattling boom was heard on March 15, 2012, between 8:15 AM and 8:30 AM were Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Glynn and McIntosh Counties.

Officer Todd Rhodes from Georgia's Brunswick Police Dept. told Channel 4:  “It was a noise that literally shook our home. There was some panic there because you know when you hear that noise as far-reaching as it was - and not only hearing it, but feeling it - you want to know, ‘What is this?’”

 

Earth's Changing Core


Earth's solid iron-nickel inner core is 1,520 miles in diameter (2,446 km) and its surface
temperature is as hot as the sun's surface, 10,800 degrees Fahrenheit (6,000 degrees Celsius).
That inner core is 70% the diameter of Earth's moon. The mass of the inner core is about
one hundred million million million tons - which is about 30 per cent greater than the
mass of the moon. Illustration 2013 Wikipedia by Kevinsong.

80% of the Earth's inner core heat comes from radioactive decay emitted by isotopes potassium-40, uranium-238, uranium-235 and thorium-232.  The remaining 20% is residual heat from the original creation of our planet.  Then there are other radioactive decay elements in the mantle that release heat to the Earth's surface.

Recently scientists have reported that the speed at which the inner core rotates can change over time and no one knows why. The Utah geophysicist raises this question: Could infrasound vibrations from new heating and cooling changes in the Earth's core be linked to the loud boom phenomenon and maybe even sinkholes?

I took the question to Arianna Gleason, a geoscientist at Stanford University in California. Her lab researched extreme pressures on iron that show iron strength weakens with extreme pressure. She thinks that might explain why the Earth's inner core is not spherical, but lopsided. First, I asked her if it's true that the Earth's inner core is about the size of the moon?


Interview:


Arianna Gleason, Ph.D.,
Dept. of Geological and Environmental
Sciences, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

Arianna Gleason, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Associate, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California: “Yes, that's almost correct. It's about 70% the size of the moon, so slightly smaller than the moon.

It's pretty startling and the fact that at that core mantle boundary right there at the outer part of the core, the temperature is so hot, it is the same as the surface of the sun [10,800 degrees Fahrenheit, 6,000 degrees Celsius.]

HOW DOES THAT TEMPERATURE COMPARE TO THE INNER CORE?

It gets maybe 500 degrees hotter or so as you go farther into the inner part of the core. There is some temperature variation, but it's actually an area of active research. We're not sure of the exact temperature.

WELL, WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS THAT SOMETHING ALMOST THE SIZE OF OUR MOON IS AT THE CENTER OF OUR EARTH AND THE SURFACE OF IT IS AS HOT AS THE SUN.

Exactly right.

WHAT IS THE INNER CORE MADE OF AND WHAT IS THE OUTER CORE?

We know based on density measurements that we can make in a lab and with seismic information and also gravimetric information that the Earth's core is composed of an iron-nickel alloy. So it's about 95% iron, less than 5% nickel, with less than 1% could be oxygen, could be hydrogen, could be sulfur - some very tiny amount. It's an iron-nickel alloy that constitutes the Earth's solid inner core.

Now, the liquid outer core is pure liquid iron. We know it's in a liquid state because as the seismic waves propagate through, there's a certain kind of seismic wave that does not get transmitted through a liquid. That's how the seismologists discovered the liquid outer core. It suddenly, this wave, just disappeared.

 

Earth's Core, Magnetic Field Changing Fast


Rapid changes in the churning movement of Earth's outer liquid core around
solid inner core are weakening the magnetic field in some regions of the planet's
surface, according to a June 2008 study in Nature Geoscience.
See Websites below. Image by Jason Reed.

THEN FROM THERE OUT TO THE EDGE OF THE OUTER CORE GOING INTO THE MANTLE, THAT IS LIQUID, MOVING IRON.

Exactly right. Yes, it's convecting and moving around, which is what allows us to have magnetic fields. It is moving around at a higher rate outside of the solid crystalline inner core. The solid inner core is spinning on its own axis just like the Earth rotates about its axis once every 24 hours. The solid inner core is rotating at a slightly different rate than the rest of the solid Earth. That's a very interesting problem that Earth scientists are trying to solve - how did that get set up, this solid inner ball that's rotating independently from the rest of the Earth because it's housed by this liquid metal, iron.

SO THE INNER CORE THAT IS THE SOLID IRON CRYSTAL IS ROTATING FASTER THAN THE REST OF THE EARTH.

Yes, slightly, and the data is very new. There's some research out there that show the inner crystalline core is not actually a perfect sphere. It's actually sort of lopsided in the way in which the crystalline iron is precipitating out of the liquid outer core. It's being deposited preferentially in one hemisphere or on one side. And so I think it's non-spherical nature is changing the way it (inner core) is rotating.

THIS COMES TO AN INTERESTING COMMUNICATION I'VE HAD SINCE AROUND THE FIRST OF APRIL WITH A GEOPHYSICIST, WHO WORKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH MILITARY AT HILL AFB. HIS COMMUNICATION FOR THE LAST TWO MONTHS BOILS DOWN TO THIS:  THAT HE AND OTHER GEOPHYSICISTS WORKING UNDER CONTRACTS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HAVE BEEN STUDYING THE INNER CORE AND OUTER CORE OF THIS PLANET BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTICED THAT THERE ARE CHANGES THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND. ONE OF THEM IS THAT IN THE LAST TWO OR THREE YEARS, THERE HAS BEEN  A 1000% INCREASE IN THE LIQUEFACTION  IN SOILS THEY HAVE STUDIED.

THEY TIE THIS TO THE INCREASING NUMBER OF SINKHOLES - NOT JUST IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT AROUND THE WORLD. HE SAID THEY HAVE BEEN MEASURING INFRASOUND THAT WE HUMANS COULD NOT HEAR WITH OUR EARS, BUT THAT THE INFRASOUND CAN BE MEASURED BY INSTRUMENTS. THERE ARE INFRASOUND SIGNATURES THAT ARE COMING FROM INSIDE OUR PLANET THAT ARE INDICATING TO THEM THAT SOMETHING FUNDAMENTAL IS CHANGING IN THE INNER CORE TO THE OUTER CORE TO THE MANTLE TO THE CRUST. WHERE ALL THIS COULD LEAD - BECAUSE THE INTERIOR TO THE CRUST IS A DYNAMIC SITUATION - COULD WE BE AT A TIME WHERE THE INNER AND OUTER CORE TO THE MANTLE AND TO THE CRUST ARE GOING THROUGH SOME SORT OF AN EVOLUTIONARY CHANGE THAT COULD END UP CRACKING THE INDONESIAN AREA PLATE INTO A NEW PLATE?

Parts of what you said are certainly true. The outermost crust, the lithosphere on our planet, is intimately tied to what is going on in the asthenosphere to the mantle are intimately tied to the inner and outer core in a way that is constantly changing. The flow and evolution of different parts of these layers, like you said, affects the atmosphere, affects the biosphere - it's all one and the same.


In the Earth, the lithosphere includes the crust and the uppermost mantle, which constitute
the hard and rigid outer layer of the Earth. The lithosphere is above the asthenosphere,
which is the weaker, hotter, and deeper part of the upper mantle. The boundary between
the lithosphere and the underlying asthenosphere is defined by a difference in response
to stress: the lithosphere remains rigid for very long periods of geologic time in which
it deforms elastically and through brittle failure, while the asthenosphere deforms
viscously and accommodates strain through plastic deformation. The lithosphere
is broken into tectonic plates. Illustration by Wikipedia.

Sinkholes?


9600 South Houston Avenue near the Chicago Skyway suddenly opened in a large
sinkhole on Thursday, April 18, 2013, and the two cars inside were followed soon by a
third parked car that slid in as well. Image © 2013 by Nancy Loo, WGN-TV.
See:  051313 Earthfiles “Persistent Sinkholes and Unexplained Booms.”

Related to sinkholes in particular, I'm not necessarily convinced. It's my understanding that a lot of the sinkhole activity that takes place near the surface and affects someone's home going into a large hole is more related to the water table and how much water we are pumping out and the abilities for the soil and different layers that are near the surface to support structures on top.

But it could also be a combination of that plus shifting of the (Earth's) plates and one would want to pay attention to new results in seismic slow earthquakes, or the little tremors that people can detect or devices that can detect across many frequencies such as a shallow rumble, or indicators in the seismic sense that let you know a larger earthquake might be coming.

HAVE YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES AT STANFORD AND BEYOND DISCUSSED THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE BIG 9.1 INDONESIAN (QUAKE)  DECEMBER 26, 2004, MIGHT RELATE TO A PLATE BREAK UP IN THAT INDONESIAN AREA?

In general, that assessment is true. It could be very symptomatic of some of these larger global changes that are taking place - not only at the crust surface but at depth.

FROM THE WORK YOU HAVE BEEN DOING ON THE COMPOSITION OF THE INNER CORE AND THE OUTER CORE, DO YOU HAVE A PERSPECTIVE ON WHETHER OR NOT WE COULD BE LIVING IN A TIME IN WHICH THERE COULD BE INSTABILITY AND PRESSURES BUILDING UP FROM THE INNER CORE OUTWARD THAT WOULD BE STRONG ENOUGH TO CRACK A PLATE AND CREATE YET ANOTHER CONTINENT?

In one's lifetime, or like in a day, I don't think it would take place such as there would be a deep crevasse forming before your eyes  and part of the plate would be moving quickly away from you and generating this new continent. I think that's kind of unreasonable.

But what I think IS reasonable is the ability to get an idea with depth where over a much longer time scale the crust is starting to deform, starting to undergo changes that can be felt incrementally as maybe smaller earthquakes? Or maybe larger earthquakes as a way to map out probably where a new fracture that could develop into a continental break or division could take place.

But I don't think in the near future in my lifetime or your lifetime we would see a new plate form right before our eyes like movie style  (laughs).

The Earth at depth is a very mysterious place. When the other scientist is saying it (infrasound frequency) goes from the core, transmits through the mantle to the crust, is able to exit that, get all the way up to the ionosphere and perhaps get reflected back down - if these frequencies are very low - I mean if the length scales are so large that it could be a lot of these heterogeneities in the mantle and in the crust are not even seen, not even detected by frequencies of this nature. Maybe it (low frequencies) get through just fine the same way that radio waves are probably passing through our bodies right now and we don't feel it, we don't care, it doesn't hurt us. But it's the length scale of these frequencies  - that's the key. So there could be something to this.”

 

If Earthfiles viewers and radio listeners experience mysterious loud booms, sometimes with bright, rapid flashes of light, please email: [email protected]  All requests for confidentiality are honored.

See: Phys.org "Earth's surprise inside: Geologists unlock mysteries of the planet's inner core."


More Information:

For further reports about strange hums and booms that have also been reported in 2011, please see reports below from Earthfiles Archive.

• 03/01/2012 — Updated 030112: Solar CMEs Hitting Earth's Magnetic Fields - Do They Make Strange, Loud Sounds?
• 02/28/2012 — Strange Sounds in Washington State
• 02/09/2012 — Updated Feb. 9: Eerie, Strange Sounds Heard in Tennessee and Kansas
• 02/04/2012 — Video of Kiev-like Strange Sound in Amarillo, Texas: What Happened?
• 02/02/2012 — Updated: Earthfiles Email About Mysterious “Chorus of Trumpets” and Other Strange Sounds
• 12/31/2011 — Updated - Part 1: Earthfiles Mail About High Strangeness
• 11/13/2011 — Updated: More Loud Booms in Virginia and Missouri; More Quakes in Oklahoma
• 10/27/2011 — More Mysterious Hum Reports from North America to China
• 10/04/2011 — Updated: What Are Strange “Hums” That Keep People Awake?
• 10/03/2011 — Part 1: Viewer Letters About Strange, Loud Booms
• 02/01/2011 — Tampa Airports Change Compass Marks While North Magnetic Pole Moves Toward Siberia


Websites:

"Equatorial anisotropy in the inner part of Earth's inner core from autocorrelation of earthquake coda," February 9, 2015, Nature Geoscience:
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2354.html

"Earth's Rotating Inner Core Shifts Its Speed," May 14, 2013, Discovery.com:
http://news.discovery.com/earth/earth-inner-core-shifts-speeds-130514.htm

"Earth's Core, Magnetic Field Changing Fast, Study Says," June 30, 2008, National Geographic:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080630-earth-core.html

"April Sumatra Quakes Signal Indian Ocean Plate Break-up," September 26, 2012, BBC News:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19732681

Earthfiles:

Infrasound:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrasound

Unexplained Booms, Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unexplained_boom#cite_note-0

Loud Booms in Virginia and Missouri; More Quakes in Oklahoma:
http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1910&category=Environment

Strange Booms in North Carolina: 
http://www.ufo-blogger.com/2012/02/strange-booms-sound-reported-in-north.html

Strange Booms in Texas:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plsmV4DyAlg

Strange Booms in Florida:  http://www.weirdus.com/states/florida/unexplained_phenomena/booming_sounds/index.php

December 1977 Newspaper Reports:
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=JBRIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=
mAANAAAAIBAJ&pg=2018,5070585&hl=en

USGS Booms and Seneca Guns:   http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/booms.ph

 

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