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Contributions to the geomagnetic secular variation from a reanalysis of core surface dynamics

Abstract : We invert for motions at the surface of Earth's core under spatial and temporal constraints that depart from the mathematical smoothings usually employed to ensure spectral convergence of the flow solutions. Our spatial constraints are derived from geodynamo simulations. The model is advected in time using stochastic differential equations coherent with the occurrence of geomagnetic jerks. Together with a Kalman filter, these spatial and temporal constraints enable the estimation of core flows as a function of length and time-scales. From synthetic experiments, we find it crucial to account for subgrid errors to obtain an unbiased reconstruction. This is achieved through an augmented state approach. We show that a significant contribution from diffusion to the geomagnetic secular variation should be considered even on short periods, because diffusion is dynamically related to the rapidly changing flow below the core surface. Our method, applied to geophysical observations over the period 1950-2015, gives access to reasonable solutions in terms of misfit to the data. We highlight an important signature of diffusion in the Eastern equatorial area, where the eccentric westward gyre reaches low latitudes, in relation with important up/downwellings. Our results also confirm that the dipole decay, observed over the past decades, is primarily driven by advection processes. Our method allows us to provide probability densities for forecasts of the core flow and the secular variation.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 11:37:19 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 12, 2022 - 3:05:37 AM

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O. Barrois, N. Gillet, J. Aubert. Contributions to the geomagnetic secular variation from a reanalysis of core surface dynamics. Geophysical Journal International, 2017, 211, pp.50-68. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggx280⟩. ⟨insu-03748837⟩

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