ArticlePDF Available

Causes and Consequences of Geomagnetic Field Collapse

Authors:
  • Transdyne Corporation, California

Abstract and Figures

Consequences of the next geomagnetic field collapse, concomitant with a magnetic polarity reversal or excursion, have been greatly underestimated as based upon a widely-accepted, but physically-impossible geoscience paradigm. The underlying causes of geomagnetic field collapse are inexplicable in that flawed paradigm wherein geomagnetic field production is assumed to be produced in the Earth's fluid core. Here I review the causes and consequences of geomagnetic field collapse in terms of a new geoscience paradigm, called Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics, specifically focusing on nuclear fission georeactor generation of the geomagnetic field and the intimate connection between its energy production and the much greater stored energy of protoplanetary compression. The nuclear georeactor is subject to a staggering range and variety of potential instabilities. Yet, its natural self-control mechanism allows stable operation without geomagnetic reversals for times longer than 20 million years. Geomagnetic reversals and excursions occur when georeactor sub-shell convection is disrupted. Disrupted sub-shell convection can occur due to (1) major trauma to Earth such as an asteroid collision or (2) change in the charge particle flux from the sun or change in the ring current either of which can induce electrical current into the georeactor via the geomagnetic field causing ohmic-heating that can potentially disrupt sub-shell convection. Further, humans could deliberately or unintentionally disrupt sub-shell convection by disrupting the charge-particle environment across portions of the geomagnetic field by nuclear detonations or by heating the ionosphere with focused Review Article Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087 61 electromagnetic radiation. The use of electromagnetic pulse weapons is potentially far more devastating to humanity than previously imagined, and should be prohibited. During the next polarity reversal or excursion, increased volcanic activity may be expected in areas fed by georeactor heat, such as the East African Rift System, Hawaii, Iceland, and Yellowstone in the USA. One potentially great risk is triggering the eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano.
Content may be subject to copyright.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
*Corresponding author: E-mail: mherndon@san.rr.com;
Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science
International
24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
ISSN: 2454-7352
Causes and Consequences of Geomagnetic Field
Collapse
J. Marvin Herndon
1*
1
Transdyne Corporation 11044 Red Rock Drive San Diego, CA 92131 USA.
Author’s contribution
The sole author designed, analysed, interpreted and prepared the manuscript.
Article Information
DOI: 10.9734/JGEESI/2020/v24i930256
Editor(s):
(1) Prof. Anthony R. Lupo, University of Missouri, USA.
Reviewers:
(1) Natalia-Silvia Asimopolos, Geological Institute of Romania, Romania.
(2) S. Kannadhasan, Anna University, India.
Complete Peer review History:
http://www.sdiarticle4.com/review-history/65087
Received 25 October 2020
Accepted 30 December 2020
Published 31 December 2020
ABSTRACT
Consequences of the next geomagnetic field collapse, concomitant with a magnetic polarity
reversal or excursion, have been greatly underestimated as based upon a widely-accepted, but
physically-impossible geoscience paradigm. The underlying causes of geomagnetic field collapse
are inexplicable in that flawed paradigm wherein geomagnetic field production is assumed to be
produced in the Earth’s fluid core. Here I review the causes and consequences of geomagnetic field
collapse in terms of a new geoscience paradigm, called Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics,
specifically focusing on nuclear fission georeactor generation of the geomagnetic field and the
intimate connection between its energy production and the much greater stored energy of
protoplanetary compression. The nuclear georeactor is subject to a staggering range and variety of
potential instabilities. Yet, its natural self-control mechanism allows stable operation without
geomagnetic reversals for times longer than 20 million years. Geomagnetic reversals and
excursions occur when georeactor sub-shell convection is disrupted. Disrupted sub-shell
convection can occur due to (1) major trauma to Earth such as an asteroid collision or (2) change in
the charge particle flux from the sun or change in the ring current either of which can induce
electrical current into the georeactor via the geomagnetic field causing ohmic-heating that can
potentially disrupt sub-shell convection. Further, humans could deliberately or unintentionally
disrupt sub-shell convection by disrupting the charge-particle environment across portions of the
geomagnetic field by nuclear detonations or by heating the ionosphere with focused
Review Article
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
61
electromagnetic radiation. The use of electromagnetic pulse weapons is potentially far more
devastating to humanity than previously imagined, and should be prohibited. During the next
polarity reversal or excursion, increased volcanic activity may be expected in areas fed by
georeactor heat, such as the East African Rift System, Hawaii, Iceland, and Yellowstone in the
USA. One potentially great risk is triggering the eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano.
Keywords: Magnetic reversals, corona ejections, electrical transmission networks, GPS blackouts,
communications disruptions, solar wind, geomagnetic storms.
1. INTRODUCTION
The solar wind, a fully-ionized, ~10
6
°K plasma
consisting of electrons, protons, alpha particles,
and (considerably less-abundant) heavy ions,
streams outward from the solar corona [1-3]. The
geomagnetic field deflects the solar wind safely
away from Earth’s surface, shielding our planet
from this charged-particle onslaught [4,5].
Massive corona ejections sometimes overwhelm
the geomagnetic shield and induce damaging
electric currents into metal conductors on the
surface, posing particular risks to electrical
transmission networks [6-9]. These brief
glimpses prefigure the much-greater
consequences expected during a geomagnetic
polarity reversal or excursion. Loss of that
shielding, during the next geomagnetic polarity
reversal, will potentially have devastating
consequences for our highly integrated,
technology-based infrastructure, as abstracted
from [10] and quoted from [11]: “Widespread
communications disruptions, GPS blackouts,
satellite failures, loss of electrical power, loss of
electric-transmission control, electrical equipment
damage, fires, electrocution, environmental
degradation, refrigeration disruptions, food
shortages, starvation and concomitant anarchy,
potable water shortages, financial systems shut-
down, fuel delivery disruptions, loss of ozone and
increased skin cancers, cardiac deaths, and
dementia. This list is not exhaustive. It is likely
that a geomagnetic field collapse would cause
much hardship and suffering, and potentially
reverse more than two centuries of technological
infrastructure development”.
Global and national security concerns, such as in
the above quotation, tend to focus solely on
increases of the charged particle assault on
Earth resulting from loss of geomagnetic
shielding during reversals. Numerous scientists
and non-scientists, e.g. [12-19], have drawn
attention to instances from the geologic past
when previous magnetic reversals and
excursions appear to be associated with grand-
scale geological phenomena. Examples of these
past associations include continent
fragmentation, large igneous extrusions, ocean
heating and the potentially its involvement in ice
age formation, and concomitant adverse
consequences on biota, including major species
extinction events. The risk of such major solid-
Earth geological disruptions occurring during the
next geomagnetic reversal is rarely, if ever,
mentioned as the underlying geophysical basis is
inexplicable in the current widely-discussed
geoscience paradigms whose basis originated 80
years ago, namely, plate tectonics theory and
geomagnetic field generation in Earth’s fluid
core.
Here I review the implications of a new
geoscience paradigm [20-46] which affords a
logical foundation for understanding how
naturally occurring geomagnetic reversals and
excursions in the past led to major solid-Earth
disruptions, and in the future might trigger major
volcanic events, including possibly super-volcano
eruptions. I also review the possibility that human
assaults on Earth’s natural processes might
trigger collapse of the geomagnetic field.
Examples of these anthropogenic activities that
might cause geomagnetic-collapse potentially
include, heating the ionosphere with focused
electromagnetic radiation [47-49] and detonating
nuclear explosions to generate an
electromagnetic pulse [50-52]. Consequently,
use of electromagnetic pulse weapons is
potentially far more devastating to humanity than
previously imagined, and should be prohibited.
2. BACKGROUND
In 1755, Kant [53] set forth a hypothesis on the
origin of the sun and planets that was modified
by Laplace [54] in 1796. Laplace’s nebula
hypothesis is the forerunner of the modern
protoplanetary theory of planet formation, which
attracted scientific attention until it became
unfashionable by the early 1960s [55-58].
In 1897, Chamberlain [59] set forth the
fundamentally different hypothesis of planetary
formation by the accumulation of small bodies
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
62
that was modified by Moulton [60] in 1900 and
became the Chamberlin-Moulton planetesimal
theory of planetary formation [61]. Beginning in
1963, the planetesimal theory became the basis
of computational models [62-65] which
comprised a paradigm that collectively is
sometimes referred to as the standard theory of
solar system formation [66,67]. Although popular,
in instances the models were based upon
unjustified ad hoc assumptions, such as whole-
planet melting and the idea of a magma ocean
[68,69].
In 1906, Oldham discovered Earth’s fluid core
[70]. In 1936, Lehmann conceived of the inner
core to explain seismic observations [71]. In
1939, Elsasser proposed that the geomagnetic
field is generated within Earth’s fluid core [72]. In
1940, Birch explained the inner-core composition
as being partially crystallized iron metal [73].
These concepts, with the addition of plate
tectonics [74,75], became crucial elements of the
foundation of the currently popular Earth-science
paradigm. In 1979, I published in the
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London the
fundamentally different, logically-derived
explanation of the inner-core consisting of fully
crystallized nickel silicide [27] which led step-
wise to a new understanding of planetary
formation, geomagnetic field generation,
geodynamics, and geology.
In a series of publications, I set forth a new Solar
System planetary formation paradigm [20-26].
That indivisible paradigm provides compelling
evidence that the observed differences in
Terrestrial-planet compositions, as well as the
asteroid belt, can be understood as (1)
consequences of protoplanetary planet formation
combined with (2) consequences of the
thermonuclear ignition of the sun. Further, I set
forth a new geoscience paradigm, called Whole-
Earth Decompression Dynamics, which follows
logically and causally from the combination of (1)
and (2) above [20,27-46]. That indivisible
paradigm explains virtually all deep-Earth and
surface geological and geophysical observations,
including composition of the inner core, fluid
core, and lower mantle [27-29,31,32,39],
separation of the continents and observed ocean
floor topography [35], without fictitious super-
continent cycles [44] and without physically-
impossible mantle convection [39], nuclear
georeactor geomagnetic field generation [37,42],
georeactor-fueled volcanism characterized by
high
3
He/
4
He ratios [33], origin of mountains
characterized by folding [40], origin of fjords and
the primary initiation of submarine canyons [43],
mechanism for heat emplacement at crustal base
[36], and two fundamentally new energy sources
georeactor nuclear fission energy and the
much more powerful stored energy of
protoplanetary compression [24,42].
In a series of publications [20,23,24,30,31,
33,37,42,46,76,77], I demonstrated the feasibility
of a Terracentric nuclear fission reactor, called
the georeactor, as the energy source and
production mechanism for generating the
geomagnetic field, shown schematically in Fig. 1.
Paleomagnetic evidence indicates the existence
of several periods of non-reversed geomagnetic
polarity that have lasted longer than 20 million
years [78,79]. Consideration of the circum-
stances necessary for maintaining georeactor
stability over such long durations of time leads to
a new understanding of how geomagnetic field
collapse is connected logically and causally to
major solid-Earth disruptions.
For a nuclear fission reactor to exist at the center
of the Earth, all of the following conditions must
be met [42]:
There must originally have been a
substantial quantity of uranium within
Earth’s core.
There must be a natural mechanism for
concentrating the uranium.
The isotopic composition of the uranium
at the onset of fission must be appropriate
to sustain a nuclear fission chain
reaction.
The reactor must be able to breed a
sufficient quantity of fissile nuclides to
permit operation over the lifetime of Earth
to the present.
There must be a natural mechanism for the
removal of fission products.
There must be a natural mechanism for
removing heat from the reactor.
There must be a natural mechanism to
regulate reactor power level.
The location of the reactor must be such
as to provide containment and prevent
meltdown.
As described in detail [42], each of the above
conditions is fulfilled for Herndon’s nuclear fission
georeactor at the center of Earth, and not fulfilled
for other, later, putative georeactors’ assumed to
be located elsewhere in Earth’s deep interior
[80,81].
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
63
Fig. 1. Earth’s nuclear fission georeactor (inset) shown in relation to the major parts of Earth. The georeactor at the center is one ten-millionth the
mass of Earth’s fluid core. The georeactor sub-shell, consisting of nuclear decay and fission products, is a liquid or slurry, situated between the
nuclear-fission heat source and inner-core heat sink, which assures stable convection that is necessary for sustained geomagnetic field
production by convection-driven dynamo action in the georeactor sub-shell [23,31,37]. Reproduced from [11].
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
64
Paleomagnetic evidence indicates that the
geomagnetic field was being produced at least
4.2 billion years ago, just a few hundred million
years after Earth’s formation [82]. Moreover, the
intensity of the geomagnetic field over geologic
time has been more-or-less constant, typically
within a factor of two, except during reversals or
excursions [83-85]. Operational stability of the
nuclear fission georeactor is critical for its
continued existence into the present.
Understanding the factors involved in maintaining
georeactor stability allows logical deduction of
the nature of its operation.
One result to come from nuclear georeactor
numerical simulations, made using the SAS2
analysis sequence contained in the SCALE Code
Package from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
[86] that was developed over a period of three
decades and extensively validated against
isotopic analyses of commercial reactor fuels
[87-91], was this [33,46,92]: For a given initial
amount of georeactor uranium at the time of
Earth’s formation, there must exist a relatively
narrow range of average georeactor operating
power levels. If the average operating power is
above an upper-critical level, the uranium fuel will
be consumed at rates that will lead to georeactor
demise before the present time. Perhaps that
happened to planet Venus that currently has no
internally generated magnetic field [93]. If the
average operating power is below a lower-critical
level, insufficient fuel breeding will take place
resulting in georeactor shut-down before the
present time, which in principle could have
occurred anytime during the past two billion
years.
Although reversals of the geomagnetic field have
occurred numerous times [94,95], there are
periods when the geomagnetic field has
maintained the same polarity for periods longer
than 20 million years [78,96]. Clearly, there exists
a natural mechanism capable of maintaining
extremely stable georeactor operation in the face
of its constantly variable uranium fuel
composition caused by the following:
The two main isotopes of uranium,
235
U
and
238
U, naturally decay at different
rates.
Nuclear fission further alters the isotopic
composition by fission and by breeding
fissionable nuclides.
Depending upon circumstances, the
nuclear fission chain reaction can
progress at different rates ranging from
very slow to runaway fast.
The accumulation of fission products,
which contain reactor poisons, can slow
and can even halt the nuclear fission
chain reaction.
All of these variability-creating potentialities occur
simultaneously in the georeactor.
The georeactor, and all planetary and satellite
nuclear reactors [23,24], have these
circumstances in common which make possible
planetocentric nuclear fission reactor operation:
Uranium is the densest naturally
occurring nuclide at planetocentric
pressures.
Fission products are markedly less
dense than uranium at planetocentric
pressures.
Micro-gravitational potential exists in the
planetocentric environment.
As illustrated schematically in Fig. 2, uranium,
being the densest substance, settles at Earth’s
center, called the georeactor sub-core. The
fission products and products of radioactive
decay, being less dense, separate from the
georeactor sub-core and form the georeactor
sub-shell.
3. GEOREACTOR STABILITY
CONDITIONS
In the micro-gravity environment at the center of
Earth, georeactor heat production that is too
energetic will cause actinide sub-core
disassembly, mixing actinide elements with
neutron-absorbers of the nuclear waste sub-
shell, quenching the nuclear fission chain
reaction. But as actinide elements begin to settle
out of the mix, the nuclear fission chain reaction
will restart, ultimately establishing a balance, a
dynamic equilibrium between heat production
and actinide settling-out, a self-regulation control
mechanism [23]. The implication is that much of
the uranium is constrained to the nuclear waste
sub-shell where it is kept well mixed with neutron
absorbers. Consequently, nuclear fission only
occurs in the uranium that settles out into the
sub-core.
The natural configuration of the georeactor is
ideal for heat transport by thermal convection.
Heat produced in the georeactor’s nuclear sub-
core heats the matter at the base of the
georeactor’s nuclear waste sub-shell causing it to
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
65
expand, becoming less dense. The less dense
‘parcel’ of bottom matter floats to the top of the
sub-shell where it contacts the massive inner
core heat-sink and loses its extra heat, densifies,
and sinks. The nickel silicide inner core [27,29]
heat-sink is surrounded by an even more
massive heat-sink, the fluid iron alloy core, which
helps to ensure the existence of an adverse
temperature gradient in the georeactor sub-shell,
a necessary condition for thermal convection
[97].
Thermal convection in the nuclear waste sub-
shell not only is a crucial component for
maintaining georeactor thermal balance, but it is
also the mechanism for producing the internally-
generated magnetic field of planets and their
larger satellites. The convection-driven
circulation of charged-particle-producing nuclear
material in the sub-shell, twisted by planetary
rotation, I posit [23,24,37,42], is the basis for
internally-generated magnetic field production by
self-sustaining dynamo-action [72,98,99].
4. GEOREACTOR EVIDENCE
As noted by Rao [100], a nuclear reactor at the
core of the Earth is a solution to the riddles of
relative abundances of helium isotopes and to
geomagnetic field variability”. The helium riddle
referred to by Rao [100] is this: Since
measurements were first made in the 1970s, the
3
He/
4
He ratio determined in volcanic basalts
typically ranged from 4 to 49 times the same ratio
measured in atmospheric helium [101-105]. The
riddle is that there was no deep-Earth
mechanism known for producing
3
He in the
requisite quantities, so mantle-mixing
computational models were made based upon ad
hoc assumptions [106-109]. The measured
basaltic
3
He/
4
He ratios, however, provided the
first compelling evidence of nuclear georeactor
existence.
Initially, I made calculations using Fermi’s
nuclear reactor theory [110] to demonstrate the
feasibility of a Terracentric nuclear fission reactor
[20,30,31], which provided no information on
fission products. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
georeactor numerical simulations [33,46],
however, demonstrated that the georeactor
would produce helium in precisely the range of
3
He/
4
He observed in volcanic basalts, as shown
in Fig. 3. This is not only the solution to the
above riddle, but is powerful independent
evidence for georeactor existence.
In the 1930s, Fermi and Pauli [111-113]
discussed the possible existence of a nearly
massless particle, later called the neutrino, that
was not experimentally detected until 1956
[114,115]. In 1998 Raghavan et al. [116]
demonstrated the feasibility of using antineutrino
spectroscopy to measure uranium and thorium
within the Earth. After learning about the
georeactor in 2002, Raghavan [117] showed that
the antineutrino spectrum resulting from nuclear
fission has a higher energy component than from
radioactive decay thus in principle permitting
georeactor detection.
Raghavan’s article [117] stimulated discussions
worldwide [118-121]. The two operational deep-
Earth antineutrino detectors, at Kamioka, Japan
[122] and at Grand Sasso, Italy [123], to date
have not only failed to refute georeactor nuclear
fission, but at a 95% confidence level, have
measured georeactor energy production of 3.7
and 2.4 terawatts, respectively. Interestingly, the
energy production levels used in the Oak Ridge
georeactor calculations ranged from 3 to 6
terawatts [33].
5. GEOMAGNETIC FIELD DISRUPTIONS
Earth’s georeactor, as I deduced from the
properties of matter and described above, if left
undisturbed is capable of an extreme degree of
stability, as indicated by periods of non-reversed
geomagnetic polarity lasting longer than 20
million years [78,79]. But more-frequent
geomagnetic polarity reversals (Fig. 4) do occur,
and are indicative of external events that disrupt
convection in the georeactor sub-shell.
Disruption of georeactor sub-shell convection
inevitably leads to disruption of geomagnetic field
production. Upon re-establishing sub-shell
convection after disruption, the geomagnetic field
would be re-established either in the same or
reverse direction.
There are two principal, natural means by which
disruption of convection in the georeactor sub-
shell can occur as a result of the relatively small
georeactor mass:
(1) Trauma to the Earth, such as a large
meteorite collision [124,125], could in
principle disrupt convection in the sub-shell
of the georeactor, which has a mass just
about one-ten-millionth that of the Earth’s
core [42].
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
66
(2) Abrupt changes in the charge particle flux
from the sun and/or changes in Earth’s ring
current system [126,127] that interacts with
the geomagnetic field necessarily induces
electrical current into the georeactor via
the geomagnetic field, which causes ohmic
heating in the georeactor sub-shell that
can potentially disrupt sub-shell convection
[42].
The relatively small mass of the georeactor also
means that in principle humans could
accidentally or purposefully induce sub-shell
convection-disruption which might potentially
collapse the geomagnetic field. Detonation of
nuclear explosives above the Earth to cause an
electromagnetic pulse (EMP) [128] might not only
momentarily distort the geomagnetic field, but
potentially could induce electrical current into the
georeactor by altering the natural charged
particle flux across the geomagnetic field. A
similar risk is posed by heating the ionosphere
with focused electromagnetic radiation [11].
6. SUB-SHELL CONVECTION
DISRUPTION CONSEQUENCES
Collapse of thermal convection in the georeactor
sub-shell can lead to abrupt settling-out of
uranium from the reactor-poison sub-shell
environment, which can lead to a period of
uncontrolled nuclear fission chain reactions
occurring before the dynamic self-regulation
balance between heat production and actinide
settling-out re-establishes itself. The burst of
excess fissionogenic energy production by sub-
shell convection disruption, concurrent with
geomagnetic polar reversals and excursions, in
principle could trigger far greater energy release
from the stored energy of protoplanetary
compression by replacing some of the lost heat
of protoplanetary compression [21, 24].
I have disclosed a new, complete, self-consistent
paradigm that describes our planet’s
composition, structure, geodynamics, surface
geology, and energy sources that follow in a
logical and causally related way from Earth’s
origin as a Jupiter-like gas giant by condensing,
i.e. raining-out, from within a giant gaseous
protoplanet followed by removal of primordial
gases and ices during the thermonuclear ignition
of the sun [20,21,24,27,30-36,39-41,43-45].
The weight of ~300 Earth-masses of primordial
gases and ices compressed the rocky portion of
Earth to about two-thirds its present diameter.
Stripped of those gases and ices during the
thermonuclear ignition of the sun, the reduced-
diameter Earth, encased by an unbroken crustal
shell, contained an extremely powerful energy
source, the protoplanetary energy of
compression. Utilization of this powerful
potential-energy source for driving whole-Earth
decompression, however, necessitates replacing
the lost heat of protoplanetary compression.
Georeactor nuclear fission energy, although
insufficient to drive whole-Earth decompression,
can serve to replace the lost heat of
protoplanetary compression [21,35].
To understand by analogy: Georeactor output
energy acts as the input signal of a great
planetary-scale power amplifier, the output of
which causes whole-Earth decompression
events. Thus, one may understand
mechanistically how a burst of excess
fissionogenic energy production from sub-shell
convection disruption, associated with
geomagnetic field collapse, can also be
associated in a causally-related manner with
major decompression events.
The geoscience literature is replete with
observations that seem to associate geological
phenomena with geomagnetic reversals and
excursions, including the following:
Continent fragmentation or attempts [129-
131],
Massive volcanism [132-136],
Water level variations [137,138],
Ocean heating and potentially its
involvement in ice age formation [139-144],
and
Major species extinction events [15,145-
148].
In each of the above instances, no logical,
causally-related basis could be previously
described as geomagnetic-field production was
incorrectly attributed to convection-driven
dynamo action in the fluid core, a mass about
one-third that of Earth. Thermal convection in the
Earth’s core is physically impossible for the
following reasons [39]: (1) Compression of the
core by the weight above makes the density
gradient too great for thermal convection, and (2)
the core is wrapped in a thermally-insulating
blanket which limits heat-loss thus preventing
maintenance of an adverse temperature gradient
necessary for sustained thermal convection in
the core. In the georeactor sub-shell, on the
other hand, these limitations do not exist.
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
67
Fig. 5. presents a record of recent magnetic
polarity reversals. The last polarity reversal event
occurred about 786,000 years ago and may have
occurred during a time span as short as 13±6
years [149], a time-frame consistent with other
observations of rapid geomagnetic reversals
[150,151].
No one knows when the next georeactor sub-
shell convection collapse will occur, but recent
movements of the North Magnetic Dip Pole [152]
might imply sooner rather than later [11]. In
addition to the devastating consequences on our
technologically-based infrastructure, described
above, it is of interest to speculate on the
geological consequences of the next georeactor
sub-shell convection collapse.
Over Earth’s lifetime, georeactor fuel has been
decreasing due to fuel burn-up and natural
radioactive decay. Consequently, the amount of
potential flare-up upon collapse of georeactor
sub-shell convection will not be nearly as great
as in earlier times. The amount of surface-effects
from whole-Earth decompression will certainly be
much less than in earlier times. One might,
however, expect increased geological activity
from volcanic areas fed by georeactor energy,
such as the East African Rift System, Hawaiian
Islands, Iceland, and Yellowstone among others
[105]. Of particularly grave concern is whether a
major pulse in georeactor energy might trigger
eruption of the Yellowstone potential-super-
volcano [153-156] whose georeactor-supplied
heat is strongly indicated by high
3
He/
4
He ratios
[157,158].
At some yet-unknown point in time, presumably
as a consequence of nuclear-fission fuel burning
and radioactive decay, the isotopic composition
of georeactor-uranium will be unable to sustain
nuclear fission chain reactions, marking the
permanent demise of the georeactor and the
geomagnetic field [33]. At that point in time,
humanity would be well-advised to work together
for common survival.
Fig. 2. Schematic representation of the georeactor, not to scale. Planetary rotation and fluid
motions are indicated separately; their resultant motion is not shown. Stable convection with
adverse temperature gradient and heat removal is expected. Scale in km. Reproduced from
[11]
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
68
Fig. 3. Oak Ridge National Laboratory georeactor simulation data calculated at energies of 3
and 5 terawatts compared to measured helium ratios in oceanic basalts. Data from [33].
Reproduced from [11]
Fig. 4. Geomagnetic polarity since the middle Jurassic. Dark areas denote periods where the
polarity matches today's polarity, while light areas denote periods where that polarity is
reversed. Based upon published data [94,95]. Reproduced from [11]
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
69
Fig. 5. Recent geomagnetic polarity from rock-magnetism investigations. Dark areas denote
periods where the polarity matches today's polarity, while light areas denote periods where
that polarity is reversed. Based upon an image by the U. S. Geological Survey. Reproduced
from [11]
7. CONCLUSIONS
Consequences of the next geomagnetic field
collapse, concomitant with a magnetic polarity
reversal or excursion, have been greatly
underestimated as based upon a popular, but
flawed geoscience paradigm. The potential risks
to our technology-based infrastructure from the
charged-particle onslaught during geomagnetic
field collapse are recognized [11]. Other potential
dangers have gone essentially unmentioned,
even though observations of some major
geological events in the past seem to have been
associated with geomagnetic reversals or
excursions. The underlying causes of
geomagnetic field collapse are inexplicable in
that flawed paradigm wherein geomagnetic field
production is assumed to be produced in the
Earth’s fluid core.
Beginning with a new concept for the
composition of Earth’s inner core, published in
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London in
1979, I progressed step-by-step on a logical
progression of understanding which ultimately
led to a new indivisible Solar System planetary
formation paradigm and a new geoscience
paradigm, called Whole-Earth Decompression
Dynamics. Here I reviewed the causes and
consequences of geomagnetic field collapse in
terms of that new geoscience paradigm,
specifically focusing on nuclear fission
georeactor generation of the geomagnetic field
and the intimate connection between its energy
production and the much greater stored energy
of protoplanetary compression.
The nuclear georeactor, which has a mass about
one ten-millionth that of Earth’s core, consists of
two parts, the sub-core where nuclear fission
takes place and the convecting sub-shell that
contains fissile material and reactor poisons, i.e.,
fission fragments and radioactive decay
products. The georeactor self-control mechanism
consists of a dynamic balance between sub-core
nuclear fission and the settling-out of fissile
material into the sub-core.
The nuclear georeactor is subject to a staggering
range and variety of potential instabilities. Yet, its
self-control mechanism allows stable operation
without geomagnetic reversals for times longer
than 20 million years. Geomagnetic reversals
and excursions occur when georeactor sub-shell
convection is disrupted.
Here, I disclosed that disrupted sub-shell
convection can occur due to (1) major trauma to
Earth such as an asteroid collision or (2) change
in the charge particle flux from the sun or change
in the ring current either of which can induce
electrical current into the georeactor via the
geomagnetic field causing ohmic-heating that
can potentially disrupt sub-shell convection.
Further, humans could deliberately or
unintentionally disrupt sub-shell convection by
disrupting the charge-particle environment
across portions of the geomagnetic field by
nuclear detonations or by heating the ionosphere
with focused electromagnetic radiation. The use
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
70
of electromagnetic pulse weapons is potentially
far more devastating to humanity than previously
imagined, and should be prohibited.
Disruption of stable georeactor sub-shell
convection leads to uncontrolled settling-out of
fissile material causing a nuclear flare-up, a burst
of georeactor energy. That excess energy,
channeled to Earth’s surface can potentially
cause a variety of geological phenomena and/or
can replace the lost heat of protoplanetary
compression resulting in major geological events
powered by the stored energy of protoplanetary
compression. The latter explains the basis of
associations between geophysical events and
polarity reversals and excursions.
During the next polarity reversal or excursion,
increased volcanic activity may be expected in
areas fed by georeactor heat, such as the East
African Rift System, Hawaii, Iceland, and
Yellowstone in the USA. One potentially great
risk is triggering the eruption of the Yellowstone
super-volcano.
At some yet-unknown point in time, the
georeactor fuel will have been consumed, sub-
shell convection will collapse, never to re-
establish, thus marking the end of the
geomagnetic field forever. Perhaps Venus has
already arrived at that point.
COMPETING INTERESTS
Author has declared that no competing interests
exist.
REFERENCES
1. Parker EN, Dynamics of the interplanetary
gas and magnetic fields. The Astrophysical
Journal. 1958;128:664.
2. Parker E, Dynamical theory of the solar
wind. Space Science Reviews, 1965;4(5-
6):666-708.
3. Marsch E. Kinetic physics of the solar
corona and solar wind. Living Reviews in
Solar Physics. 2006;3(1):1.
4. Mead GD, Deformation of the geomagnetic
field by the solar wind. Journal of
Geophysical Research. 1964;69(7):1181-
1195.
5. Parks GK. Physics of space plasmas- An
introduction. Redwood City, CA: Addison-
Wesley Publishing Co. 1991;547.
6. Moriña D, et al. Probability estimation of a
Carrington-like geomagnetic storm.
Scientific Reports. 2019;9(1):1-9.
7. Borovsky JE. A survey of geomagnetic and
plasma time lags in the solar-wind-driven
magnetosphere of earth. Journal of
Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.
2020;208:105376.
8. Gulyaeva T, Gulyaev R, Chain of
responses of geomagnetic and ionospheric
storms to a bunch of central coronal hole
and high speed stream of solar wind.
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terres
trial Physics. 2020;208:105380.
9. Kirkham H, et al. Geomagnetic storms and
long-term impacts on power systems.
Pacific Northwest National Lab.(PNNL),
Richland, WA (United States); 2011,
10. Williams TJ. Cataclysmic Polarity Shift is
US National Security Prepared for the Next
Geomagnetic Pole Reversal. Air Command
and Staff Colleage, Maxwell AFB United
States; 2015.
11. Herndon JM, Cataclysmic geomagnetic
field collapse: Global security concerns.
Journal of Geography, Environment and
Earth Science International. 2020;24(4):61-
79.
12. Courtillot V. Evolutionary catastrophes: the
science of mass extinction. Cambridge
University Press; 2002.
13. Gregori GP, Dong W. The correlation
between geomagnetic field reversals,
Hawaiian volcanism, and the motion of the
Pacific plate. Annals of Geophysics. 1996;
39(1).
14. Felix RW. Not by Fire But by Ice: Discover
what Killed the Dinosaurs and why it Could
Soon Kill Us. 2000, Bellevue, Washington:
Sugarhouse Publishing.
15. Raup DM, Magnetic reversals and mass
extinctions. Nature. 1985;314(6009):341-
343.
16. Plotnick RE, Relationship between
biological extinctions and geomagnetic
reversals. Geology. 1980;8(12):578-581.
17. Watkins N, Goodell H. Geomagnetic
polarity change and faunal extinction in the
Southern Ocean. Science. 1967;156(37
78):1083-1087.
18. Rampino MR. Possible relationships
between changes in global ice volume,
geomagnetic excursions, and the
eccentricity of the Earth's orbit. Geology.
1979;7(12):584-587.
19. Force ER. A relation among geomagnetic
reversals, seafloor spreading rate,
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
71
paleoclimate, and black shales. Eos,
Transactions American Geophysical
Union. 1984;65(3):18-19.
20. Herndon JM. Planetary and protostellar
nuclear fission: Implications for planetary
change, stellar ignition and dark matter.
Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 1994;A455:453-461.
21. Herndon JM. Solar system processes
underlying planetary formation, geody
namics, and the georeactor. Earth, Moon,
and Planets. 2006;99(1):53-99.
22. Herndon JM. Discovery of fundamental
mass ratio relationships of whole-rock
chondritic major elements: Implications on
ordinary chondrite formation and on planet
Mercury’s composition. Curr Sci. 2007;
93(3):394-398.
23. Herndon JM. Nature of planetary matter
and magnetic field generation in the solar
system. Curr Sci. 2009;96(8):1033-1039.
24. Herndon JM. New indivisible planetary
science paradigm. Curr Sci. 2013;105(4):
450-460.
25. Herndon JM, Hydrogen geysers:
Explanation for observed evidence of
geologically recent volatile-related activity
on Mercury’s surface. Curr Sci. 2012;
103(4):361-361.
26. Herndon JM. Reevaporation of condensed
matter during the formation of the solar
system. Proc. R. Soc. Lond, 1978;A363:
283-288.
27. Herndon JM, The nickel silicide inner core
of the Earth. Proc R Soc Lond. 1979;A368:
495-500.
28. Herndon JM. The chemical composition of
the interior shells of the Earth. Proc R Soc
Lond. 1980;A372:149-154.
29. Herndon JM. The object at the centre of
the Earth. Naturwissenschaften. 1982;69:
34-37.
30. Herndon JM. Feasibility of a nuclear
fission reactor at the center of the Earth as
the energy source for the geomagnetic
field. J Geomag Geoelectr. 1993;45:423-
437.
31. Herndon JM. Sub-structure of the inner
core of the earth. Proc Nat Acad Sci. USA.
1996;93:646-648.
32. Herndon JM, Composition of the deep
interior of the earth: Divergent geophysical
development with fundamentally different
geophysical implications. Phys Earth Plan
Inter. 1998;105:1-4.
33. Herndon JM. Nuclear georeactor origin of
oceanic basalt
3
He/
4
He, evidence and
implications. USA. Proc Nat Acad Sci.
2003;100(6):3047-3050.
34. Herndon JM. Scientific basis of knowledge
on Earth's composition. Curr Sci. 2005;
88(7):1034-1037.
35. Herndon JM. Whole-Earth decompression
dynamics. Curr Sci. 2005;89(10):1937-
1941.
36. Herndon JM, Energy for geodynamics:
Mantle decompression thermal tsunami.
Curr Sci. 2006;90(12):1605-1606.
37. Herndon JM, Nuclear georeactor
generation of the earth's geomagnetic field.
Curr Sci. 2007;93(11):1485-1487.
38. Herndon JM. Potentially significant source
of error in magnetic paleolatitude
determinations. Curr Sci. 2011;101(3):277-
278.
39. Herndon JM. Geodynamic Basis of Heat
Transport in the Earth. Curr Sci. 2011.
101(11):1440-1450.
40. Herndon, J.M., Origin of mountains and
primary initiation of submarine canyons:
the consequences of Earth’s early
formation as a Jupiter-like gas giant. Curr
Sci. 2012;102(10):1370-1372.
41. Herndon JM. A new basis of geoscience:
whole-Earth decompression dynamics.
New Concepts in Global Tectonics, 2013;
1(2):81-95.
42. Herndon JM. Terracentric nuclear fission
georeactor: background, basis, feasibility,
structure, evidence and geophysical
implications. Curr Sci. 2014;106(4):528-
541.
43. Herndon JM. New concept for the origin of
fjords and submarine canyons:
Consequence of whole-earth decom
pression dynamics. Journal of Geography,
Environment and Earth Science
International. 2016;7(4):1-10.
44. Herndon JM. Fictitious supercontinent
cycles. Journal of Geography, Environment
and Earth Science International. 2016;7(1):
1-7.
45. Herndon JM. New concept on the origin of
petroleum and natural gas deposits. J
Petrol Explor Prod Technol. 2017;7(2):345-
352.
46. Hollenbach DF, Herndon JM, Deep-earth
reactor: nuclear fission, helium and the
geomagnetic field. Proc Nat Acad Sci.
USA. 2001;98(20):11085-11090.
47. Gołkowski M, et al. On the occurrence of
ground observations of ELF/VLF
magnetospheric amplification induced by
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
72
the HAARP facility. Journal of Geophysical
Research: Space Physics. 2011;116(A4).
48. Kuo S, Lee M. Earth magnetic field
fluctuations produced by filamentation
instabilities of electromagnetic heater
waves. Geophysical Research Letters.
1983; 10(10):979-981.
49. Blagoveshchenskaya N et al. Geophysical
phenomena during an ionospheric
modification experiment at Tromsø,
Norway. in Annales Geophysicae.
Springer; 1998.
50. Costine KJ, Osetek J. Electro-Magnetic
Pulse Attack and the US Power Grid.
academia.edu; 2014.
51. Longmire CL, On the electromagnetic
pulse produced by nuclear explosions.
IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic
Compatibility. 1978;1:3-13.
52. Stein DL. Electromagnetic pulse—the
uncertain certainty. Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists. 1983;39(3):52-56.
53. Kant I. Allgemeine naturgeschichte and
theorie des himmels (Universal natural
history and theory of the heavens). Trans.
by Ian Johnston. Arlington, VA: Richer
Resources; 1755.
54. Laplace PSD. Pierre Simon de laplace. in
exposition du système du monde; 1796.
55. Eucken A. Physikalisch-chemische
Betrachtungen ueber die frueheste
entwicklungsgeschichte der erde nachr
akad wiss goettingen, Math.-Kl. 1944;1-25.
56. Kuiper GP. On the evolution of the
protoplanets USA. Proc Nat Acad Sci.
1951;37:383-393.
57. Urey HC, On the dissipation of gas and
volatilized elements from protoplanets. The
Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.
1954;1:147.
58. Bainbridge J. Gas imperfections and
physical conditions in gaseous spheres of
lunar mass. Astrophys J. 1962;136:202-
210.
59. Chamberlin TC, A group of hypotheses
bearing on climatic changes. The Journal
of Geology. 1897;5(7):653-683.
60. Moulton F. An attempt to test the nebular
hypothesis by an appeal to the laws of
dynamics. The Astrophysical Journal.
1900;11:103.
61. Chamberlin T, Moulton F. The deve
lopment of the planetesimal hypothesis.
Science. 1909;30(775):642-645.
62. Cameron AGW. Formation of the solar
nebula. Icarus, 1963;1:339-342.
63. Goldrich P, Ward WR. The formation of
planetesimals. Astrophys J. 1973;183(3):
1051-1061.
64. Chambers J, W etherill G. Making the
terrestrial planets: N-body integrations of
planetary embryos in three dimensions.
Icarus. 1998;136(2):304-327.
65. Larimer JW. Chemistry of the solar nebula.
Space Sci Rev. 1973;15(1):103-119.
66. Murray N et al., Migrating planets. Science.
1998;279(5347):69-72.
67. Woolfson M, The origin of solar systems.
The Observatory. 1996;116:1-10.
68. Elkins-Tanton LT. Magma oceans in the
inner solar system. Annual Review of Earth
and Planetary Sciences, 2012;40:113-139.
69. Siebert J et al. Metal–silicate partitioning of
Ni and Co in a deep magma ocean. Earth
and Planetary Science Letters. 2012;321:
189-197.
70. Oldham RD. The constitution of the interior
of the earth as revealed by earthquakes.
QT Geol Soc Lond., 1906;62:456-476.
71. Lehmann IP. Publ Int Geod Geophys.
Union Assoc. Seismol., Ser A Trav Sci.
1936;14:87-115.
72. Elsasser WM. On the origin of the Earth's
magnetic field. Phys Rev. 1939;55:489-
498.
73. Birch F. The transformation of iron at high
pressures and the problem of the earth's
magnetism. Am J Sci. 1940;238:192-211.
74. Vine FJ, Matthews DH. Magnetic
anomalies over oceanic ridges. Nature.
1963;199:947-949.
75. Dietz RS. Continent and ocean basin
evolution by spreading of the sea floor.
Nature. 1961;190:854-857.
76. Herndon JM. Examining the overlooked
implications of natural nuclear reactors.
Eos Trans Am Geophys U. 1998;
79(38):451-456.
77. Herndon JM. Uniqueness of herndon's
georeactor: Energy source and production
mechanism for Earth's magnetic field.
Available:https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0
901/0901.4509.pdf, 2009.
78. Jacobs J. The cause of superchrons.
Astronomy & Geophysics. 2001;42(6):
6.30-6.31.
79. Driscoll PE, Evans DA. Frequency of
Proterozoic geomagnetic superchrons.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2016;
437:9-14.
80. Anisichkin VF, Bezborodov AA, Suslov IR.
Georeactor in the Earth. Transport Theo
Stat Phys. 2008;37:624-633.
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
73
81. De Meijer RL, Van Westrenen W. The
feasibility and implications of nuclear
georeactors in Earth’s core–mantle
boundary region. S Af Sci. 2008;104:111-
118.
82. Tarduno JA, et al. Paleomagnetism
indicates that primary magnetite in zircon
records a strong Hadean geodynamo.
Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences. 2020;117(5):2309-2318.
83. Tarduno JA, et al. Geomagnetic field
strength 3.2 billion years ago recorded by
single silicate crystals. Nature. 2007;446
(7136):657-660.
84. Pick T, Tauxe L. Geomagnetic
palaeointensities during the Cretaceous
normal superchron measured using
submarine basaltic glass. Nature. 1993;
366(6452):238-242.
85. Valet JP, Meynadier L. Geomagnetic field
intensity and reversals during the past four
million years. Nature. 1993;366(6452):234-
238.
86. Scale: A modular code system for
performing standardized analyses for
licensing evaluations, N.C.-., Rev. 4,
(ORNL/NUREG/CSD-2/R4), Vols. I, II, and
III, April 1995. Available from Radiation
Safety Information Computational Center
at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as CCC-
545; 1995.
87. DeHart MD, Hermann OW. An Extension
of the Validation of SCALE (SAS2H)
Isotopic Predictions for PWR Spent Fuel,
ORNL/TM-13317, Lockheed Martin Energy
Research Corp., Oak Ridge National
Laboratory; 1996.
88. England TR, et al. Summary of ENDF/B-V
data for fission products and actinides,
EPRI NP-3787 (LA-UR 83-1285) (ENDF-
322), Electric Power Research Institute;
1984.
89. Hermann OW. San onofre PWR data for
code validation of MOX fuel depletion
analyses, ORNL/TM-1999/018, R1,
Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp.,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory; 2000.
90. Hermann OW, et al. Validation of the scale
system for PWR spent fuel isotopic
composition analyses, ORNL/TM-12667,
Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Oak
Ridge National Laboratory; 1995.
91. Hermann OW, DeHart MD. Validation of
SCALE (SAS2H) Isotopic Predictions for
BWR Spent Fuel, ORNL/TM-13315,
Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp.,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory; 1998.
92. Herndon JM, Edgerley DA. Background for
terrestrial antineutrino investigations:
Radionuclide distribution, georeactor
fission events, and boundary conditions on
fission power production. arXiv:hep-
ph/0501216; 2005..
93. Russell C. Planetary magnetism. Reviews
of Geophysics. 1980;18(1):77-106.
94. Kent DV, Gradstein FM. A Cretacious and
Jurassic geochronology. Bull Geol Soc
Am. 1985;96(11):1419.
95. Cande SC, Kent DV. Revised calibration of
the geomagnetic polarity timescale for the
Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic. J Geophys
Res. 1995;100:6093.
96. Channell J, Ogg J, Lowrie W.
Geomagnetic polarity in the early
cretaceous and jurassic. Philosophical
transactions of the royal society of London.
Series A. Mathematical and Physical
Sciences. 1982;306(1492):137-146.
97. Chandrasekhar S. Thermal convection.
Proc Amer Acad Arts Sci. 1957;86(4):323-
339.
98. Elsasser W M. Induction effects in
terrestrial magnetism. Phys Rev. 1946;69:
106-116.
99. Elsasser WM. The earth's interior and
geomagnetism. Revs Mod Phys. 1950;22:
1-35.
100. Rao KR. Nuclear reactor at the core of the
Earth! - A solution to the riddles of relative
abundances of helium isotopes and
geomagnetic field variability. Curr Sci.
2002;82(2):126-127.
101. Craig H, Lupton J. Primordial neon,
helium, and hydrogen in oceanic basalts.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 1976.
31(3):369-385.
102. Anderson DL. Helium-3 from the mantle -
Primordial signal or cosmic dust? Science,
1993;261(5118):170-176.
103. Honda M, Mc Dougall I. Primordial helium
and neon in the earth—A speculation on
early degassing. Geophysical research
letters. 1998;25(11):1951-1954.
104. Rasmussen M, et al. Olivine chemistry
reveals compositional source heterogene
ities within a tilted mantle plume beneath
Iceland. Earth and Planetary Science
Letters. 2020;531:116008.
105. Mundl-Petermeier A, et al. Anomalous
182W in high 3He/4He ocean island
basalts: Fingerprints of Earth’s core?
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 2020;
271:194-211.
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
74
106. Bouhifd MA, et al. Helium in earth’s early
core. Nature Geoscience. 2013;6(11):982-
986.
107. Anderson DL. The statistics of helium
isotopes along the global spreading ridge
system and the central limit theorem.
Geophys. Res Lett. 2000;27(16):2401-
2404.
108. Honda M, McDougall I, Patterson D. Solar
noble gases in the earth: The systematics
of helium-neon isotopes in mantle derived
samples. Lithos, 1993;30(3-4):257-265.
109. Buttitta D, et al. Continental degassing of
helium in an active tectonic setting
(northern Italy): The role of seismicity.
Scientific Reports. 2020;10(1):1-13.
110. Fermi E. Elementary theory of the chain-
reacting pile science wash. 1947;105:27-
32.
111. Pauli W, Septieme consiel de physique.
Solvay (Gauthier-Villars Paris 1934). 1934;
324.
112. Pauli W, Becquerel AH, Yukawa H. Fermi
proposes the neutrino theory of beta
decay. Great events from history: The 20th
century, 1901-1940. 2007;5:2687.
113. Fermi E. Versuch einer Theorie der β-
Strahlen. I. Zeitschrift für Physik. 1934;88
(3-4):161-177.
114. Cowan JCL, et al. Detection of free
neutrinos: A confirmation. Sci. 1956;124:
103-104.
115. Reines F, Cowan CL. The neutrino.
Nature. 1956;178(4531):446-449.
116. Raghavan RS et al. Measuring the global
radioactivity in the Earth by multidectector
antineutrino spectroscopy. Phys Rev Lett.
1998;80(3):635-638.
117. Raghavan RS. Detecting a nuclear fission
reactor at the center of the earth.
arXiv:hep-ex/0208038; 2002.
118. Domogatski GV et al. Neutrino geophysics
at Baksan I: Possible detection of
georeactor antineutrinos. Physics of Ato
mic Nuclei, 2005;68(1):69-72.
119. Fogli G, et al. Kaml and neutrino spectra in
energy and time: Indications for reactor
power variations and constraints on the
georeactor. Physics Letters B. 2005;623
(1-2):80-92.
120. Smirnov O, Experimental aspects of
geoneutrino detection: Status and
perspectives. Progress in Particle and
Nuclear Physics. 2019;109:103712.
121. Кузьмичев, Л., Нейтринная астрофизика.
Характеристика нейтринного импульса»,
НИИЯФ МГУ; 2019.
122. Gando A et al. Reactor on-off antineutrino
measurement with KamLAND. Physical
Review D. 2013;88(3):033001.
123. Agostini M et al. Comprehensive
geoneutrino analysis with Borexino.
Physical Review D, 2020;101(1):012009.
124. Reddy S, Collision course: The threat and
effects of an asteroid impact. Berkeley
Scientific Journal. 2013;17(2).
125. Ostro SJ, Sagan C, Cosmic collisions and
galactic civilizations. Astronomy & Geo
Physics. 1998;39(4):4.22-4.24.
126. Williams D, Dynamics of the earth's ring
current: Theory and observation. Space
Science Reviews. 1985;42(3-4):375-396.
127. Kakad B, Kakad A. Characteristics of pro
bability distribution functions of low-and
high-latitude current systems during Solar
Cycle 24. Advances in Space Research.
2020;65(6):1559-1567.
128. Cohen B et al., Topanga: A modern code
for E3 simulations. Lawrence Livermore
National Lab (LLNL), Livermore, CA
(United States); 2019.
129. Vogt PR. Changes in geomagnetic
reversal frequency at times of tectonic
change: Evidence for coupling between
core and upper mantle processes. Earth
and Planetary Science Letters. 1975;25(3):
313-321.
130. Swanson-Hysell NL et al., Magmatic
activity and plate motion during the latent
stage of Midcontinent Rift development.
Geology. 2014;42(6):475-478.
131. Trifonov V, Sokolov SY. Comparison of
tectonic phases and geomagnetic
reversals in the Late Mesozoic and in the
Cenozoic. Herald of the Russian Academy
of Sciences. 2018;88(1):37-43.
132. Pavlov V, Gallet Y. Middle cambrian high
magnetic reversal frequency (Kulumbe
River section, northwestern Siberia) and
reversal behaviour during the Early
Palaeozoic. Earth and Planetary Science
Letters. 2001;185(1-2):173-183.
133. Pavlov VE, et al. Geomagnetic secular
variations at the PermianTriassic boun
dary and pulsed magmatism during erup
tion of the Siberian Traps. Geochemistry,
Geophysics, Geosystems, 2019;20(2):773-
791.
134. Gallet Y, Pavlov V, Courtillot V. Magnetic
reversal frequency and apparent polar
wander of the Siberian platform in the
earliest Palaeozoic, inferred from the
Khorbusuonka river section (northeastern
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
75
Siberia). Geophysical Journal Inter
National. 2003;154(3):829-840.
135. Verma R, Pullaiah G. Paleomagnetic study
of a vertical sequence of deccan traps from
Jabalpur. Bulletin Volcanologique. 1971;
35(3):750-765.
136. Wensink H. Klootwijk C. Paleomagnetism
of the deccan traps in the western ghats
near Poona (India). Tectonophysics. 1971;
11(3):175-190.
137. Gaffin S. Phase difference between sea
level and magnetic reversal rate. Nature.
1987;329(6142):816-819.
138. Marzocchi W, Mulargia F, Paruolo P. The
correlation of geomagnetic reversals and
mean sea level in the last 150 my. Earth
and Planetary Science Letters. 1992;
111(2-4):383-393.
139. Worm HU. A link between geomagnetic
reversals and events and glaciations. Earth
and Planetary Science Letters. 1997;147
(1-4):55-67.
140. Thouveny N et al., Paleoclimatic context of
geomagnetic dipole lows and excursions in
the Brunhes, clue for an orbital influence
on the geodynamo? Earth and Planetary
Science Letters. 2008;275(3-4):269-284.
141. Aldahan A, Possnert G. Geomagnetic and
climatic variability reflected by 10Be during
the quaternary and late pliocene.
Geophysical Research Letters. 2003;30(6).
142. Dinarès-Turell J, Sagnotti L, Roberts AP.
Relative geomagnetic paleointensity from
the jaramillo subchron to the matuyama/
brunhes boundary as recorded in a
mediterranean piston core. Earth and
Planetary Science Letters. 2002;194(3-4):
327-341.
143. Chappel J. On possible relationships
between upper Quaternary glaciations,
geomagnetism and vulcanism. Earth and
Planetary Science Letters. 1975;26(3):370-
376.
144. Rampino MR. Variations of the earth's
magnetic field and rapid climatic cooling: A
possible link through changes in global ice
volume. Fourth national aeronautics and
space administration weather and climate
program science review: The proceedings
of a review held january 24-25, 1979 at the
nasa goddard space flight center,
Greenbelt, Maryland. 1979;2076:341.
145. Crain IK, Possible direct causal relation
between geomagnetic reversals and bio
logical extinctions. Geological Society of
America Bulletin. 1971;82(9):2603-2606.
146. Hays JD. Faunal extinctions and reversals
of the Earth's magnetic field. Geological
Society of America Bulletin. 1971;82(9):
2433-2447.
147. Wiedmann J. The basque coastal sections
of the k/t boundary-a key to understanding"
mass extinction" in the fossil record.
Revista Española de Micropaleontologia,
1988;1988(Extra):127-140.
148. Meert JG, et al. Rapid changes of
magnetic field polarity in the late
Ediacaran: linking the Cambrian evolu
tionary radiation and increased UV-B
radiation. Gondwana Research. 2016;34:
149-157.
149. Sagnotti L, et al. How fast was the
Matuyama–Brunhes geomagnetic rever
sal? A new subcentennial record from the
Sulmona Basin, central Italy. Geophysical
Journal International. 2015;204(2):798-
812.
150. Coe RS, Prevot M. Evidence suggesting
extremely rapid field variation during a
geomagnetic reversal. Earth Planet. Sci.
Lett. 1989;92:192-198.
151. Bogue SW. Very rapid geomagnetic field
change recorded by the partial rema
gnetization of a lava flow Geophys. Res.
Lett. 2010;37.
DOI: 10.1029/2010GL044286.
152. Livermore PW, Finlay CC, Bayliff M.
Recent north magnetic pole acceleration
towards Siberia caused by flux lobe
elongation. Nature Geoscience. 2020;13
(5):387-391.
153. Lowenstern JB, Smith RB, Hill DP,
Monitoring super-volcanoes: geophysical
and geochemical signals at Yellowstone
and other large caldera systems.
Philosophical transactions of the royal
society A: Mathematical, Physical and
Engineering Sciences. 2006;364(1845):
2055-2072.
154. Lowenstern JB, Hurwitz S. Monitoring a
supervolcano in repose: Heat and volatile
flux at the Yellowstone Caldera. Elements.
2008;4(1):35-40.
155. Smith RB et al. Geodynamics of the
yellowstone hotspot and mantle plume:
Seismic and GPS imaging, kinematics,
and mantle flow. Journal of Volcanology
and Geothermal Research. 2009;188(1-
3):26-56.
156. Wotzlaw JF, et al. Linking rapid magma
reservoir assembly and eruption trigger
mechanisms at evolved Yellowstone-type
Herndon; JGEESI, 24(9): 60-76, 2020; Article no.JGEESI.65087
76
supervolcanoes. Geology. 2014;42(9):807-
810.
157. Craig H, et al. Helium isotope ratios in
Yellowstone and Lassen Park volcanic
gases. Geophysical Research Letters,
1978;5(11):897-900.
158. Dodson A, Kennedy BM, De Paolo DJ.
Helium and neon isotopes in the Imnaha
Basalt, Colmbia River Basalt Group:
Evidence for a yellowstone plume source.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 1997;
150(3-4):443-451.
_________________________________________________________________________________
© 2020 Herndon; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited.
Peer-review history:
The peer review history for this paper can be accessed here:
http://www.sdiarticle4.com/review-history/65087
... In 1982, Scheidegger [21] scale occurred at all, a completely unknown energy source must be found". In 1993 and 2005, I discovered two unknown energy sources, georeactor nuclear fission energy [51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59] and the stored energy of protoplanetary compression [29,60,61], set forth Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics [41,60,62], and resolved geophysical cognitive dissonance by the still dominant theories of plate tectonics and continental drift. ...
... Earth's central nuclear-fission georeactor [51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59] powers and produces its geomagnetic field and aids whole-Earth decompression by providing heat to replace the lost heat of protoplanetary compression. Georeactor heat also channels from Earth's core to its surface [41]. ...
... The Yellowstone Vol.8, Issue 2, Febraury-2021 Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal (ASSRJ) measurements, which indicate that Yellowstone's heat source is the nuclear-fission georeactor, is of serious concern, because Yellowstone is believed to be a potential super-volcano [87][88][89][90]. Natural or anthropogenic disruption of the geomagnetic field might trigger eruption of that supervolcano [57][58][59]. ...
Article
Neither plate tectonics nor Earth expansion theory is sufficient to provide a basis for understanding geoscience. Each theory is incomplete and possesses problematic elements, but both have served as stepping stones to a more fundamental and inclusive geoscience theory that I call Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics (WEDD). WEDD begins with and is the consequence of our planet's early formation as a Jupiter-like gas giant and permits deduction of:(1) Earth's internal composition, structure, and highly-reduced oxidation state; (2) Core formation without whole-planet melting; (3) Powerful new internal energy sources - proto-planetary energy of compression and georeactor nuclear fission energy; (4) Georeactor geomagnetic field generation; (5) Mechanism for heat emplacement at the base of the crust resulting in the crustal geothermal gradient; (6) Decompression driven geodynamics that accounts for the myriad of observations attributed to plate tectonics without requiring physically-impossible mantle convection, and; (7) A mechanism for fold-mountain formation that does not necessarily require plate collision. The latter obviates the necessity to assume supercontinent cycles. Here, I review the principles of Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics and describe a new underlying basis for geoscience and geology.
... A collapse of the Earth's shielding capacity, seen in the past (13), could also occur in the foreseeable future (17). Both natural causes, such as the decreasing intensity of Earth's magnetic field (18,19), and human causes, such as disruption to portions of the geomagnetic field by nuclear detonations or the ionosphere through focused electromagnetic radiation, have been proposed (17). ...
... A collapse of the Earth's shielding capacity, seen in the past (13), could also occur in the foreseeable future (17). Both natural causes, such as the decreasing intensity of Earth's magnetic field (18,19), and human causes, such as disruption to portions of the geomagnetic field by nuclear detonations or the ionosphere through focused electromagnetic radiation, have been proposed (17). It thus remains crucial to investigate if this anticipated drop in the shielding capacity of the Earth would be (or would not be) associated with an effect on the ozone layer. ...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in the cosmic-ray background of the Earth can impact the ozone layer. High-energy cosmic events (e.g., Supernova, SN) or rapid changes in the Earth's magnetic field (e.g., Geomagnetic Excursion, GE) can lead to a cascade of cosmic rays. Ensuing chemical reactions can then cause thinning/destruction of the ozone layer — leading to enhanced penetration of harmful UV radiation towards the Earth's surface. However, observational evidence for such UV ‘windows’ is still lacking. Here, we conduct a pilot study and investigate this notion during two well-known events: the multiple SN event (≈10 kBP) and the Laschamp GE event (≈41 kBP). We hypothesize that ice-core-Δ33S records—originally used as volcanic fingerprints—can reveal UV-induced background-tropospheric- photochemical imprints during such events. Indeed, we find non-volcanic S-isotopic anomalies (Δ33S≠0 ‰) in background Antarctic-ice-core sulfate during GE/SN periods, thereby confirming our hypothesis. This suggests that ice-core-Δ33S records can serve as a proxy for past ozone-layer-depletion events.
... My concept of the consequences of Earth's initial formation as a Jupiter-like gas giant, described by Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics theory, provides a logical and causally related basis for the formation of mountains characterized by folding [11] as well as virtually all other geological and geodynamic phenomena [12][13][14][15][16] including the nuclear fission georeactor generation of Earth's magnetic field [17][18][19][20][21][22]. ...
... Ultimately, myriad seemingly complex and theoretically unresolved observations can be resolved and understood in logical, causally related ways. For example, the apparent correlation of geomagnetic field reversals with species extinction [27,28], with major episodes of volcanism [29,30], and with drastic sea-level changes [31], is understandable as geomagnetic field collapse, in principle, can lead to a spike in georeactor output energy, and thus possibly trigger a decompression spike manifest, for example, by volcanism, earthquakes, continent splitting, species extinction, mountain formation, etc. [19,20,32]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Earth's mountain ranges, characterized by folding and unique among Terrestrial planets, are inexplicable in plate tectonics, but are consequences of Earth's initial formation as a Jupiter-like gas giant, as described by Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics. The violent T-Tauri outbursts from thermonuclear ignition of the sun stripped away the primordial gases and ices leaving behind a cold, compressed rocky Earth, entirely covered by continental crust without ocean basins, but containing within it two powerful energy sources, the stored energy of protoplanetary compression and a nuclear fission georeactor. Over time heat added by nuclear fission and radioactive decay energy replaced the lost heat of protoplanetary compression making possible Earth's decompression. As Earth decompresses two surface phenomena must necessarily occur: (1) more surface area is produced by the formation of and in-filling of decompression cracks, and (2) continental surface areas adjust to new surface curvature primarily by the surface buckling, breaking and falling over (thereby forming mountain ranges characterized by folding) and secondarily by tension tears at continental edges (thereby forming fjords and submarine canyons). The present continental surface area plus continental shelves provides a "first guess" estimate of the juvenile crustal surface area, but it is an underestimate due to not considering the surface area that had buckled, broken and fallen over to form mountains. Preliminary calculations provide relative estimates of the "excess" surface area during whole-Earth decompression that would form mountains. Currently, there is a dearth of reliable data on the ages of fold-mountain formation and on the amount of surface matter they contain, as well as on the initial time of decompression crack formation, especially those cracks that ultimately became ocean Short Communication Herndon; JGEESI, 26(3): 52-59, 2022; Article no.JGEESI.86810 53 basins. The absence of fold-mountains on other Terrestrial planets may be understood as a consequence of their not having been compressed by massive shells of protoplanetary gases and ices.
... With a mass of about one ten-millionth that of the fluid core, georeactor sub-shell convection can potentially be disrupted by great planetary trauma, such as an asteroid impact, or by major solar outbursts or even by human activities, for example, by deliberate electromagnetic disturbance of the near-Earth environment, including the Van Allen belts. Furthermore, sub-shell convection disruption might trigger surface geophysical disasters, such as super-volcano eruptions [2][3][4]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the importance for understanding the nature of the geomagnetic field, and especially its potential for radically disrupting modern civilization [1], virtually all scientific publications relating to it are based upon the false assumption that the geomagnetic field is generated in the Earth’s fluid core. By adhering to an outmoded paradigm, members of the geoscience community have potentially exposed humanity to globally devastating risks, leaving it unprepared for an inevitable geomagnetic field collapse. There is no scientific reason to believe that the geomagnetic field is generated within the fluid core. Convection is physically impossible in the fluid core due to its compression by the weight above and its inability to sustain an adverse temperature gradient. There is no evidence of ongoing inner core growth to provide energy to drive thermal convection or to cause compositional convection. Moreover, there is no mechanism to account for magnetic reversals and no means for magnetic seed-field production within the fluid core to initiate dynamo amplification. Earth’s nuclear georeactor, seat of the geomagnetic field, has none of the problems inherent in putative fluid-core geomagnetic field production. With a mass of about one ten-millionth that of the fluid core, georeactor sub-shell convection can potentially be disrupted by great planetary trauma, such as an asteroid impact, or by major solar outbursts or even by human activities, for example, by deliberate electromagnetic disturbance of the near-Earth environment, including the Van Allen belts. Furthermore, sub-shell convection disruption might trigger surface geophysical disasters, such as super-volcano eruptions [2-4]. Scientists have a fundamental responsibility to tell the truth and to provide scientific understanding that benefits humanity.
Article
Full-text available
The wandering of Earth’s north magnetic pole, the location where the magnetic field points vertically downwards, has long been a topic of scientific fascination. Since the first in situ measurements in 1831 of its location in the Canadian arctic, the pole has drifted inexorably towards Siberia, accelerating between 1990 and 2005 from its historic speed of 0–15 km yr−1 to its present speed of 50–60 km yr−1. In late October 2017 the north magnetic pole crossed the international date line, passing within 390 km of the geographic pole, and is now moving southwards. Here we show that over the last two decades the position of the north magnetic pole has been largely determined by two large-scale lobes of negative magnetic flux on the core–mantle boundary under Canada and Siberia. Localized modelling shows that elongation of the Canadian lobe, probably caused by an alteration in the pattern of core flow between 1970 and 1999, substantially weakened its signature on Earth’s surface, causing the pole to accelerate towards Siberia. A range of simple models that capture this process indicate that over the next decade the north magnetic pole will continue on its current trajectory, travelling a further 390–660 km towards Siberia. Observation-based modelling suggests that recent acceleration of Earth’s north magnetic pole towards Siberia can be linked to elongation of a lobe of negative magnetic flux at the core–mantle boundary beneath Canada.
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a comprehensive geoneutrino measurement using the Borexino detector, located at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) in Italy. The analysis is the result of 3262.74 days of data between December 2007 and April 2019. The paper describes improved analysis techniques and optimized data selection, which includes enlarged fiducial volume and sophisticated cosmogenic veto. The reported exposure of (1.29±0.05)×1032 protons ×year represents an increase by a factor of two over a previous Borexino analysis reported in 2015. By observing 52.6−8.6+9.4(stat)−2.1+2.7(sys) geoneutrinos (68% interval) from U238 and Th232, a geoneutrino signal of 47.0−7.7+8.4(stat)−1.9+2.4(sys) TNU with −17.2+18.3% total precision was obtained. This result assumes the same Th/U mass ratio as found in chondritic CI meteorites but compatible results were found when contributions from U238 and Th232 were both fit as free parameters. Antineutrino background from reactors is fit unconstrained and found compatible with the expectations. The null-hypothesis of observing a geoneutrino signal from the mantle is excluded at a 99.0% C.L. when exploiting detailed knowledge of the local crust near the experimental site. Measured mantle signal of 21.2−9.0+9.5(stat)−0.9+1.1(sys) TNU corresponds to the production of a radiogenic heat of 24.6−10.4+11.1 TW (68% interval) from U238 and Th232 in the mantle. Assuming 18% contribution of K40 in the mantle and 8.1−1.4+1.9 TW of total radiogenic heat of the lithosphere, the Borexino estimate of the total radiogenic heat of the Earth is 38.2−12.7+13.6 TW, which corresponds to the convective Urey ratio of 0.78−0.28+0.41. These values are compatible with different geological predictions, however there is a ∼2.4σ tension with those Earth models which predict the lowest concentration of heat-producing elements in the mantle. In addition, by constraining the number of expected reactor antineutrino events, the existence of a hypothetical georeactor at the center of the Earth having power greater than 2.4 TW is excluded at 95% C.L. Particular attention is given to the description of all analysis details which should be of interest for the next generation of geoneutrino measurements using liquid scintillator detectors.
Article
Full-text available
In order to investigate the variability of helium degassing in continental regions, its release from rocks and emission into the atmosphere, here we studied the degassing of volatiles in a seismically active region of northern Italy (MwMAX = 6) at the Nirano-Regnano mud volcanic system. The emitted gases in the study area are CH4–dominated and it is the carrier for helium (He) transfer through the crust. Carbon and He isotopes unequivocally indicate that crustal-derived fluids dominate these systems. An high-resolution 3-dimensional reconstruction of the gas reservoirs feeding the observed gas emissions at the surface permits to estimate the amount of He stored in the natural reservoirs. Our study demonstrated that the in-situ production of 4He in the crust and a long-lasting diffusion through the crust are not the main processes that rule the He degassing in the region. Furthermore, we demonstrated that micro-fracturation due to the field of stress that generates the local seismicity increases the release of He from the rocks and can sustain the excess of He in the natural reservoirs respect to the steady-state diffusive degassing. These results prove that (1) the transport of volatiles through the crust can be episodic as function of rock deformation and seismicity and (2) He can be used to highlight changes in the stress field and related earthquakes.
Article
Recent solar cycles (SCs) 21–24 have experienced a gradual decrease in their activity with considerable weakening during current SC 24. This is a unique opportunity to examine the long-term response of Earth’s low-latitude ring-current and high latitude auroral electrojet current systems during such systematically decreasing solar activity. With the advancement in technology, continuous recordings of ground/space magnetic field are available for the last few decades that allow us to explore the behaviour of probability distribution functions (PDFs) linked with the ring-current and auroral electrojet current systems for past five SCs (20–24). Also, PDFs linked with solar wind parameters that drive these current systems like magnetic field and velocity at Earth’s bow shock are examined. We noticed the significant narrowing of PDF of ring-current and auroral electrojet during SC 24. The number of one-hour intervals with Dst<-150 nT are less than 600 for SCs 20–23, which constitutes less than 0.7% of respective PDF, and number of one-hour intervals with Dst<-250 nT are less than 100 for SCs 20–23, which corresponds to less than 0.1% of respective PDF. But for SC 24 the Dst<-150 nT encountered only for 58 h, which corresponds to 0.06% of PDF and there are no intervals when Dst was <−250 nT. For auroral electrojet, the number of one-hour intervals with AE>750 nT and AE>1500 nT are less than 3060 and 70, respectively for SCs 20–23, which corresponds to <4% and <0.06% of respective PDFs. But for SC 24 the AE>750 nT encountered only for 1398 h, which corresponds to 1.7% of PDF and there are only 9 intervals when AE increased above 1500 nT, which is 0.01% of PDF. It implies that the probability of intense ring-current and auroral electrojet current during SC 24 was unusually low. Such narrowing is seen in PDFs of the interplanetary magnetic field and solar wind velocity as well. This fair quiet space weather experienced during SC 24 is attributed to the weakening of solar activity, which has subsequently influenced the strength of the interplanetary magnetic field and solar wind velocity at Earth’s bow shock.
Article
The short-lived 182Hf-182W isotope system (t1/2 = 9 Ma) left evidence in both ancient and modern terrestrial rock record of processes that took place during the earliest stages of Earth’s accretionary and differentiation history. We report µ182W values (the deviation of 182W/184W of a sample from that of laboratory standards, in parts per million) and corresponding 3He/4He ratios for rocks from 15 different hotspots. These rocks are characterized by µ182W values that range from ∼0 to as low as -23 ± 4.5. For each volcanic system that includes rocks with negative µ182W values, the values tend to be negatively correlated with 3He/4He. The W-He isotopic characteristics of all samples can be successfully modeled via mixing involving at least three mantle source reservoirs with distinct µ182W-3He/4He characteristics. One reservoir has 3He/4He ≈ 8 R/RA and μ182W ≈ 0, which is indistinguishable from the convecting upper mantle. Based on high 3He/4He, the other two reservoirs are presumed to be relatively un-degassed and likely primordial. One reservoir is characterized by µ182W ≈ 0, while the other is characterized by µ182W ≤-23. The former reservoir likely formed from a silicate differentiation process more than 60 Myr after the origin of the solar system, but has remained partially or wholly isolated from the rest of the mantle for most of Earth history. The latter reservoir most likely includes a component that formed while 182Hf was extant. Mass balance constraints on the isotopic composition of the core suggest it has a strongly negative µ182W value of ∼ -220. Thus, it is a candidate for the origin of the negative µ182W in the plume sources. Mixing models show that the direct addition of outer core metal into a plume rising from the core-mantle boundary would result in collateral geochemical effects, particularly in the abundances of highly siderophile elements, which are not observed in OIB. Instead, the reservoir characterized by negative µ182W most likely formed in the lowermost mantle as a result of core-mantle isotopic equilibration. The envisioned equilibration process would raise the W concentration and lower the µ182W of the resulting silicate reservoir, relative to the rest of the mantle. The small proportion (<0.3 %) of this putative core-mantle equilibrated reservoir required to account for the µ182W signatures observed in OIB is insufficient to result in observable effects on most other elemental and/or isotopic compositions. The presumed primordial reservoirs may be linked to seismically distinct regions in the lower mantle. Seismically imaged mantle plumes appear to preferentially ascend from the vicinity of large low-shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs), which have been interpreted as thermochemical piles. We associate the LLSVPs with the primordial reservoir characterized by high 3He/4He and µ182W = 0. Smaller, ultra-low velocity zones (ULVZs) present at the core-mantle boundary have been interpreted to consist of (partially) molten lower mantle material. The negative µ182W signatures observed in some plume-derived lavas may result from small contributions of ULVZ material that has inherited its negative µ182W signature through core-mantle equilibration.
Article
High-Fo olivine (Fo = Mg/(Mg+Fe) mol%) is an ideal proxy for establishing the compositions of primary melts and their mantle sources. This has been exploited in establishing lithological variations in the mantle source regions of oceanic basalts, including in Iceland. However, previous studies on Icelandic olivine lack spatial and temporal coverage. We present high-precision in-situ major, minor and trace element analyses of Fo-rich olivine from a suite of 53 primitive basalts erupted in the neovolcanic rift and flank zones of Iceland, as well as in older regions of Quaternary and Tertiary crust. Most of these samples have previously been analysed for ³He/⁴He, which ranges from 6.7 to 47.8 RA, the largest span reported for any oceanic island. By combining trace elemental variability with ³He/⁴He, we assess the extent of lithological variability in the Icelandic mantle plume. Trace-element ratios that are likely to preserve information about mantle source regions (e.g., Mn/Fe, Ni/(Mg/Fe), Ga/Sc, Zn/Fe and Mn/Zn) suggest a peridotitic mantle source in all rift-related volcanic regions, as well as in the off-rift flank zones of Öræfajökull and Snæfellsnes. However, a signal of a more pyroxenitic mantle lithology is clearly visible in olivine from the South Iceland Volcanic Zone, which represents the southward propagation of the Eastern Rift Zone, while olivine from Tertiary lavas suggests a mixed peridotite-pyroxenite source composition. We are able to identify four components present in the Icelandic mantle: a lithologically heterogeneous plume component with ³He/⁴He >MORB; a depleted MORB-like peridotite; an isotopically enriched MORB-like peridotite; and a peridotitic component with ³He/⁴He <MORB, sampled in the off-rift flank zone at Öræfajökull. The spatial distribution of these four components can be explained by a northward tilted mantle plume. This has previously been proposed by geophysical and geochemical studies of both Hawaii and Iceland suggesting that the plume geometry could be a contributing factor in controlling some of the spatial variation in source lithology beneath ocean islands.
Article
Neutrino geophysics, the study of the Earth’s interior by measuring the fluxes of geologically produced neutrino at its surface, is a new interdisciplinary field of science, rapidly developing as a synergy between geology, geophysics and particle physics. Geoneutrinos, antineutrinos from long-lived natural isotopes responsible for the radiogenic heat flux, provide valuable information for the chemical composition models of the Earth. The calculations of the expected geoneutrino signal are discussed, together with experimental aspects of geoneutrino detection, including the description of possible backgrounds and methods for their suppression. At present, only two detectors, Borexino and KamLAND, have reached sensitivity to the geoneutrino. The experiments accumulated a set of ∼190 geoneutrino events and continue the data acquisition. The detailed description of the experiments, their results on geoneutrino detection, and impact on geophysics are presented. The start of operation of other detectors sensitive to geoneutrinos is planned for the near future: the SNO+ detector is being filled with liquid scintillator, and the biggest ever 20 kt JUNO detector is under construction. A review of the physics potential of these experiments with respect to the geoneutrino studies, along with other proposals, is presented. New ideas and methods for geoneutrino detection are reviewed.
Article
The tempo of Large Igneous Province emplacement is crucial to determining the environmental consequences of magmatism on the Earth. Based on detailed flow-by-flow paleomagnetic data from the most representative Permian-Triassic Siberian Traps lava stratigraphy of the northern Siberian platform, we present new constraints on the rate and duration of the volcanic activity in the Norilsk and Maymecha-Kotuy regions. Our data indicate that volcanic activity there occurred during a limited number of short volcanic pulses, each consisting of multiple individual eruptions, and that the total duration of discrete eruption pulses did not exceed ~10,000 years (hiatuses are not included). Our study confirms the occurrence of a thick interval in the lower part of the Norilsk lava sections, which contains a record of geomagnetic reversal and excursion. Based on combined evidence from paleomagnetic secular variation and typical timescales for such reversals, we conclude that the ~1-km-thick lava stratigraphy, corresponding to ~20,000 km³ of basalt, of the Kharaelakh, Norilsk, and Imangda troughs was formed during a brief, but voluminous, eruptive period of several thousand years or less. Our data further suggest that the ore-bearing Norilsk-type intrusions are coeval or nearly coeval with the boundary between the Morongovsky and Mokulaevsky formations. We calculated a new Siberian Permian-Triassic paleomagnetic pole Norilsk-Maymecha-Kotuy (NMK): PLat = 52.9°, PLong = 147.1°, A95 = 4.3°, K = 23.2, and N = 49 lava flows. It is shown that geomagnetic field variations circa 252 Ma were similar to those observed in the latest Cenozoic.