Can the Earth Crust Slip?

Earth Structure with liquid outer core

Earth Structure with liquid outer core

Original Image

OK, for years I’ve heard / read the “crazy talk” about crustal shifts and the earth’s crust “slipping” or moving.

I’ve always dismissed it. I’ve always gone out of my way to say “Pole Shift” is going to be a magnetic pole shift, not an actual movement of the physical poles.

Then on some long lost posting on WUWT Lief Svalgaard said that the liquid iron part of the Earth’s core had a viscosity less than that of water (one presumes at near normal room temperatures).

That has just nagged at me.

IFF the crust is solid on a very viscous mantle, and then there is a layer as liquid as water, what in the world would prevent the crust from “wandering around”? And I don’t mean just the plates drifting on top of the viscous layer of the mantle, I mean the whole thing.

It ought to have significant ‘tidal’ flexing and significant magnetic interactions of the liquid layer with the magnetosphere. We know the mag field has complete reversals at times. So what on earth prevents the crustal layer from ‘wandering around’ relative to the rest?

Inertia? There ought to be a lot of it. But a rotating gyro has a lot too and it can tumble and flip from minor perturbations. How big a meteor, at what speed and impact angle, could impart enough momentum to make a ‘crustal tumble’ in a gyroscopic sense? How much change of the (fairly massive) electrically charged currents flowing through the planet to induce a homopolar motor effect and move things? Is the “crazy talk” of a “pole shift” really all that crazy?

So I’ve tried unsuccessfully, for a few weeks, to ignore this and have it go away…

This page:

Doesn’t give me much hope of an answer, but does give me cause for more worry.

The viscosity of liquid iron at the physical conditions of the Earth’s core

Gilles A. de Wijs, Georg Kresse, Lidunka Voadlo, David Dobson, Dario Alfè, Michael J. Gillan & Geoffrey D. Price
Physics Department, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
Institute for Theoretical Physics, Technical University of Vienna, Wiedner Hauptstrasse 8-10/136, A-1040 Vienna, Austria
Research School of Geological and Geophysical Sciences, Birkbeck College and University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

Correspondence to: Michael J. Gillan1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to M.J.G. (e-mail: Email:

It is thought that the Earth’s outer core consists mainly of liquid iron and that the convection of this metallic liquid gives rise to the Earth’s magnetic field. A full understanding of this convection is hampered, however, by uncertainty regarding the viscosity of the outer core. Viscosity estimates from various sources span no less than 12 orders of magnitude1,2, and it seems unlikely that this uncertainty will be substantially reduced by experimental measurements in the near future. Here we present dynamical first-principles simulations of liquid iron which indicate that the viscosity of iron at core temperatures and pressures is at the low end of the range of previous estimates — roughly 10 times that of typical liquid metals at ambient pressure. This estimate supports the approximation commonly made in magnetohydrodynamic models that the outer core is an inviscid fluid3, 4, 5 undergoing small-scale circulation and turbulent convection6, rather than large-scale global circulation.

I had to look up “inviscid”. It means, roughly, without viscosity.

If that’s the case (or even things close to it) then we can easily have the inner core and the crust moving any which way relative to each other for periods of time. At that point, we’re dependent on the crust as a kind of spherical ‘ring’ with something of a bulge or two to be ‘stabilized’ by the moon tugging on the bulge bits for stabilization (at least, that’s as I understand it, but I could be way wrong here).

At the end of it all, thinking about a solid core, a gooey mantle with some crusty bits on top, and an “inviscid” layer of convecting stuff in between, I’m not seeing why a whack with a suitable rock from space can’t set the whole thing wandering for a while.

And what happens when we move a whole load of water to the poles as Ice Age Ice Caps. How much “bulge” has to be away from the equator before the moon has trouble with that stabilizing the gyro action?

I’d complain that I’m not sure how to approach this mathematically, but I’m not so sure it’s going to be answerable that way what with all the error terms.

At any rate, I just thought I’d afflict all of you with this same “crazy talk” maybe not so crazy after all dilemma…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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59 Responses to Can the Earth Crust Slip?

  1. oldtimer says:

    Not sure how this fits in but yesterday I was told that buildings in Concepcion in Chile moved c5 metres from E to W as a result of the earthquake last year; the biggest recorded was c7 metres. This information came from an insurance report.

    In Santiago all post 1995 buildings, when new building regulations came into force, were unaffected by the quake.

  2. Doyle says:

    This isn’t crazy at all. I asked the same question of my 5th grade teacher when she taught us about the mantle and its immediate substrate…she was a smart lady, she told me she didn’t know. I hadn’t revisited the question until now.

    RE: the moon; for some reason I always assumed the earth’s spare tire bulge was due to the influence of the moon. Without the pull of Luna, the equator would be flatter and the poles would be “taller”, so to speak. That’s just the way I always thought of it, not anything I was taught. My geological education was incredibly light.

    Now I have to rethink everything with my post-fifth grade brain, I can’t imagine why I never questioned these beliefs!

  3. Malaga View says:

    So let’s spin up some more crazy talk for the weekend :-)

    I am currently dipping in and out of The Deep Hot Biosphere by Thomas Gold – see

    My interest in this book is more directed at the subtitle: The Myth of Fossil Fuels because I am interested in the topic of abiogenic hydrocarbons… although this is not a mainstream theory it is worthy of consideration because hydrocarbons are deemed to be present on other planets in the solar system… which means hydrocarbons are not made from fossils on other planets… which also means the planet earth is a special case if it needs fossils to create hydrocarbons.

    The basic theory of abiogenic hydrocarbons is that these compounds are primordial… they were incorporated (along with lots of other stuff) into the Earth when the planet was formed… and that these hydrocarbons are now upwelling through pores and pathways in The Deep Hot Biosphere… a bit like the upwelling of magma from deep in the planet… when these hydrocarbons hit an impermeable layer of rock they form large reservoirs of gas and/or oil… when these reservoirs overflow or crack the overlying rock then the hydrocarbons again start upwelling…. so there may be several layers of reservoirs (a bit like a stack of pancakes) that can be drilled into for commercial exploitation of the hydrocarbons.

    Now this is were it begins to get interesting because not all the abiogenic hydrocarbons are trapped in reservoirs… some of it makes it right up to the surface… so this might explain why the oceans contain vast quantities of methane calthrate. But the really interesting suggestion is that high pressure gas in a underground reservoir may cause the overlying rock to facture thus releasing the pressurised gas into the atmosphere with enough force to cause earthquakes… hence we see the phenomena of fires, flares, earthquake lights, sinkholes, sand blows and earth mounds (rippling) associated with some earthquakes… and leaking gas is a frequent earthquake precursor which can be detected by animals – especially burrowing mammals.

    Thomas Gold’s chapter called Rethinking Earthquakes makes interesting reading… especially if you live in California, Alaska, New Madrid… however, what I would like to know is whether abiogenic hydrocarbons expand as they upwell… could they inflate cavernous underground reservoirs… could they expand the earth :-)

  4. Malaga View says:

    And let’s spin up some more really crazy talk for the weekend by bringing in the thoughts of Oliver K. Manuel… because it looks like we have an Iron Sun… and the Earth has an Iron Core… so it sounds like there are similarities… perhaps even common processes.

    So lets take a pinch of Star Dust and place it at the centre of the Earth… that is solar Star Dust from our Sun in our Solar System… doesn’t sound too unreasonable to me if our Solar System condensed out of the same cloud of stuff floating around in space. Then have a read of the following statements taken from Oliver K. Manuel´s The Suns Origin paper at

    1. The Sun is a giant plasma “Diffuser” or “sorter of ionized atoms (elements and isotopes) by weight”. This explains why lightweight elements – Hydrogen and Helium – cover the Sun’s surface while the interior of the Sun is made of elements that are common in meteorites, Earth, and in other rocky planets close to the Sun

    2. In 1983 Manuel and UMR graduate student, Golden Hwaung, reported that a total of 22 different types of atoms in the solar wind had been sorted by weight [4]. Those atoms weighed from 3 to 136 times the weight of Hydrogen, the lightest element. When the abundances of elements at the Sun’s surface were corrected for this sorting, the interior of the Sun was found to consist almost entirely of seven, even-numbered elements – Iron, Oxygen, Silicon, Nickel, Sulfur, Magnesium and Calcium.

    3. Solar Magnet Fields accelerate Proton (Hydrogen Ions) Upward and create the “carrier gas” that sorts ions in the Sun by weight.

    4. Oxygen atoms are 33% heavier than Carbon atoms. The second new paper shows that plasma sorting of ionized atoms (elements and isotopes) by weight causes the ratio of Oxygen to Carbon to be only 2 at the surface of the Sun, although the O/C ratio is 10 inside the Sun.

    5. Although Earth’s gravitational field is 330,000 times weaker than the Sun’s field, even here the lightest gas, Hydrogen, is sorted out and moved to the top of the atmosphere while heavier Carbon-dioxide gas is concentrated in low-lying places like Death Valley.

    Which leads me to conclude that it is not impossible to conceive that some Star Dust at the centre of the Earth could be generating upwelling gases such as Oxygen and Hydrogen… which can combine to generate some upwelling water… add in some of the carbon from the Outer Core and/or Mantle during the upwelling process and you have some abiogenic hydrocarbons coming along for the rise.

  5. Pascvaks says:

    This “Can the Earth Crust Slip?” issue is one that I’ve mulled over, on a very infrequent basis, for a while now too. The level of this inquiry could best be described as Pre-K-“Why?”, and I haven’t found an adult yet (not that I’ve looked very hard) who has a minute to answer.

    I noted on a Britannica CD I bought for the kids some years ago that continental land seemed to be all collected at the South Pole about 2 galactic years ago, and about a year ago (galactic year) it was around the equator, and here we are about a year later and it’s pretty much all around the North Pole. Now it seemed reasonable to me that this movement from one Pole to the other was caused by some change in something as the Solar System made its way through the Galactic Year, AND it took two years to collect all the continental land at the opposite pole.

    I’ve come to the rather astute conclusion that as we circle the Galactic Wheel the Solar System gradually turns upside down (or the Earth does) and it takes two Galactic Years for this to happen so that all the continental land is collected at one pole like Pangea way back when. During the “off year” it seems all the continental land is strewn around the middle.

    (Please don’t anyone nominate me for another one of those Swedish Meatball Prizes, after FatAlbert and his Gang at the IPCC got their’s I sent all those things back and don’t want to attend another political gala ever again;-)

  6. Malaga View says:

    And as a bonus piece of really very crazy talk it would seem that an expanding Earth is possible and that the long range weather forecast for planet Earth is that it will end up looking like one of the Gas Giants currently found in our Solar System.

  7. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Malaga View
    “Can the Earth Crust Slip?” You’re beating around the Universe and confusing me. We’re suppose to focus. Think earthy ‘Earth’, girl’s ‘slips’, pie ‘crusts’, and tin ‘cans’. Focus. Have you had your second cup of coffee yet?

  8. Thanks for this topic.

    I am pleased that the participants recognize how little we actually know.

    Perhaps that is fallout from the Climategate scandal when we had to collectively re-examine the “truths” being fed to us by:

    Politicians, world leaders, the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK Royal Society, the UN’s IPCC, government research agencies, The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, the public and private news media, etc.

    The deep roots of the Climategate scandal – with manipulation of data and observations going back to the fall of the Allende meteorite and the Apollo Mission to the Moon – are exposed in a new paper, “Neutron Repulsion,” that is now in press in the APEIRON Journal.

    It should be available at this link:

    The Editorial Board of APEIRON is here:

    I must run, but I will return to comment on possible slippage of Earth’s layers.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  9. Malaga View says:

    Ref: Pascvaks – Must have been the third cup that put me into caffeine overdrive :-)

    So Can the Earth Crust Slip?… I reckon the answer may YES… if there are observed changes in the Earth’s Length of Day then the Earth’s surface experiences periods of acceleration and deceleration… and it would seem difficult to transmit all of these force changes to (or from) a liquid Inner Core… especially with all those abiogenic hydrocarbons greasing the internal wheels :-)

    Rephrasing the question makes it a little more interesting: Can the Inner Core move independently within the Earth?… so from the above answer of YES we have an Inner Core that can wander around within the Outer Core (which might act as a buffer)… these wandering may even stir up the magma.

    The Inner Core is said to be Iron… and iron is heavy, magnetic and electrically conductive… so perhaps the Inner Core movements are influenced by the positioning of the Barry Centre of the Solar System… perhaps the Inner Core is magnetically and gravitationally attracted towards the sun and is always pulled slightly off-centre by this attraction… perhaps the Inner Core slips back to a more central position when the sun is magnetically dormant… hence more volcanic action…

    So think of that can of spray paint that contains a ball bearing to help mix up the paint when you shake the can… except in this instance the ball bearing is moved by a very large gravitational magnet called the Sun :-)

    PS Pascvaks – That was definitely my fourth and last cup of coffee today :-)

  10. Jeff Alberts says:

    I just want to know how we know the Earth is stratified as shown in the graphic. How do we know there is an Upper Mantle, Mantle, Outer Core, Inner Core? Have we ever drilled beyond the crust?

  11. John F. Hultquist says:

    Referring to your title: Isn’t the question about slippage of the ‘outer core’ against the “mantle”, rather than the ‘crust’ ? I realize the crust would also move but your point, I think, is not about with respect to the asthenosphere that is at the boundary between crust and upper mantle.

    Also, in the Malaga View and Pascvaks comments there is, perhaps, a need for clarification, namely “iron is heavy, magnetic and . . . , seems not to be the best way of expressing whatever Earth’s moving and rotating inner parts are doing.

  12. Soronel Haetir says:

    I just want to know how we know the Earth is stratified as shown in the graphic. How do we know there is an Upper Mantle, Mantle, Outer Core, Inner Core?
    Have we ever drilled beyond the crust?

    We have a pretty good idea about these layers based on earthquake studies. Different types of earthquake energies traverse the various layers in radically different ways. Some for instance won’t pass a solid-liquid phase transition etc. Or, like light passing from air to water the wave refracts at the boundary.

    One reason that I trust these results far more than the climate numbers is that every earthquake station on the planet is measuring the same events. It takes incredibly small earthquakes to not get picked up by the entire network across the globe.

    As for drilling past the crust, not yet. Some folks were trying at the mid-Atlantic ridge at a particularly thin bit of crust but they missed their target. I’m not sure if they are giving it another go or not.

  13. 1. The Editorial Board of APEIRON :

    Is one of the few scientific editorial boards that remained free of the “lock-step consensus science” that was directed from government agencies that control research grants.

    2. A layer of fluid carbon dioxide (CO2) may exist near the boundary of the upper mantle/lower crust.

    That fluid CO2 contains the decay products of extinct Iodine-129 and Plutonium-244.

    Before Science and Nature joined “lock-step consensus science” we reported these decay products in

    a.) A pocket of high-purity CO2 in New Mexico [“The xenon record of extinct radioactivities in the Earth,” Science 174, 1334-1336 (1971), and

    b.) Fluid inclusions of CO2 in a volcanic xenolith from a deep seated Hawaiian volcano [“Noble gases Hawaian xenolith”, Nature 257, 778-780 (1975)]:

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  14. P.G. Sharrow says:

    on 22 January 2011 at 10:30 am
    Oliver K. Manuel

    “2. A layer of fluid carbon dioxide (CO2) may exist near the boundary of the upper mantle/lower crust.”

    Oliver this is the first time that I have heard of this. It would go along with the postulation that the underside of the crust is heavily diamond encrusted. This was based on a 60 mile long reef of rock in northeast Africa. This reef is the source of graphite mines. The graphite occures as very large diamond crystal shapes that have degenerated to graphite as the reef slab slowly rose through the earths’ crust.

    Super heated liquid CO2 contacts H2O under very high pressures. This is the recipe for natural gas. pg

  15. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Ah correction northwest, not northeast pg

  16. George says:

    Wow, I have thought (and mentioned on WUWT) this very same thing. If you think for a moment that if the temperature cools a bit and ice increases on land, and if this ice is not symmetrically distributed, it could increase Earth’s “wobble” around its axis even if it doesn’t change the average about which that wobble occurs.

    This increase in wobble could be enough to cause significant change in the amount of light the polar regions get. The ice right at the North Pole is floating on water and is subject to being blown around by winds and such. Also, as the ice builds, it pushes out water that gets moved to the lower latitudes until it freezes all the way to the bottom and becomes “land fast”.

    I believe it is entirely possible for a fairly large chunk of ice to suddenly slide out to sea once the melt gets started or for a huge melt lake to wash out to the ocean. I wonder what the impact of both Lake Bonneville and Lake Missoula draining via the Snake River into the ocean was.

    There apparently also was a huge inland lake in North America that is believed to have drained into the North Atlantic (possible causing the Younger Dryas). This is a huge amount of weight that moved from the North American continent to the ocean and a lot of that would have ended up at the Equator as the spin of the Earth bulges the oceans out a bit in the middle.

    5000 feet or more of ice over most of Canada is a huge amount of water moved out of the ocean, away from the equator, and placed on one side of the pole. If you take a ball that is just slightly pear shaped, spin it, and then throw a fairly significant blob of clay at it that sticks just below the North axis, I would bet it would begin to wobble or any existing wobble would change.

    Just posting a reference here from WUWT from 2009:

    Another thing would be things like … the area that we know as the Newfoundland Banks would be above water. At the height of the last ice age, that land was some 50 meters above sea level. Once sea levels rose 60 meters or so from their minimum, an ice sheet the size of the current Newfoundland would have suddenly floated.

    At 120 meters lower, it would have looked like this:

    At 50 meters lower, it would look like this:

    The land is submerged and the ice that would be built up there has probably drifted off. Actually, that would probably happen sooner as the weight of the ice would have pushed the crust down some. The land there is probably actually higher then it was then due to rebound.

    So we could have seen a lot of ice, both that on land and that in shallow areas that were, during the coldest pulses of the glacial, land fast and they suddenly float when the sea levels rise a bit during the warm phases.

    In fact, I have wondered if the floating off and rafting of the ice from the Newfoundland Banks might be responsible for the Dansgaard-Oeschger events where we see in the Atlantic a great increase in drifting ice dropping debris on the ocean floor as it melts.

    It seems logical to me that the terminal moraines of the glaciers made natural dams that held lakes of meltwater until they eventually eroded and emptied. If they had any impact on wobble, as the ice melted but the water captured, the water would only move away at the pace that evaporation would carry it and these large shallow lakes would freeze over in winter. But once a breech formed and one of these lakes emptied, it could set into motion the first domino in a series that began to reduce the wobble.

    Missoula and Bonneville emptied at around the same time (Bonneville emptied during the Missioula episodes).

    And if enough ice were to build up on land, would it be enough to flip the rotation of the outer shell of the earth 90 degrees so that the current polar regions become equatorial? It would be like adding weight to the poles of that spinning ball and removing weight from the equator until it “flips” and the polar weights move to the equator.

    I don’t suggest such a drastic shift happened but it seems logical to me that less of a shift or an amplification of the wobble would happen with a change in weight distribution on the globe.

    A couple more references:

    Another thing I have wondered is what role an earthquake might play. For example, I read recently that Bremerton WA was also under about 5000 feed of ice during the last glacial. Now what impact would a 8+ Cascadia Subduction Zone quake have on that ice? Could a huge chunk of it break and slide if its substrate became liquefied due to the shaking? Might we have huge ice slides into the ocean? I don’t think those would be large enough to make a difference but if the slide were large enough, anything could be possible.

    Fundamentally, I believe that our current understanding of things like Chandler wobble and other things that impact the rotation are correct for TODAYS conditions but I believe those wobbles are subject to change and aren’t consistent once the distribution of water begins to change across the crust. What if the rotation was completely different during the last glaciation? And if that could change quickly, that would explain why ice ages seem to end in a very short period (most of the temperature change occurring in less than 5 years).

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Malaga View:

    It’s pretty clear that some of the hydrocarbons are abiogenic, but also that some are biogenic. IMHO, most of the arguing comes out of folks on both sides trying to make it ‘all their way’. So, for example, the North Sea oil and gas field has specific markers in it that let you place the time and to some extent type of species of algae that made the deposit in an anoxic shallow sea. Then you have the deep wells in the the Gulf of Mexico and some of the Russian wells into non-sedimentary rocks….

    Gasses expand as they rise, liquids not so much. THE major issue for the ‘expanding earth’ thesis is that the “stuff” must come from somewhere. There is a little ‘infall’ from space, but not enough in the more recent few billion years for the theory to work. You can get some increase in volume from things like turning one compound into another, but with solids that isn’t ver much AND most of the earth crust is fairly well known for composition and the ‘expanding via chemistry’ doesn’t seem nearly enough either. (Gypsum is an example. As the base sulfate hydrates it expands, but not much, and especially not much under high heat and pressure where the water gets driven out instead…) IMHO, that is THE problem with the ‘expanding earth’ thesis: “Where’s the stuff?” (coming from…)

    The idea of gas induced (or released?) earthquakes is interesting… Don’t know much about it. Some of the earthquake lights are electrical in origin as many rocks are piezoelectric and the ‘squashing’ make a discharge.

    Per “Star Dust”: Anything heavier than a proton was almost certainly made in a star somewhere at some time. The only real questions are where, when, and how. The whole planet is “star dust”. The fractionation discussed is just a gravity well effect (but can tell you about orginal condisitons and results in some interesting ways).

    @Jeff Alberts:

    Seismic effects. Sound travels at different speeds through the different layers. The relative speeds are proportional to things like density and fluidity. You also get partial reflections and refractions at interfaces between layers along with some ‘turbuent diffusion’ in a convecting layer. Take all of it together, mix with some ‘directed speculation’ about things like chemical composition, season with some flow / sound modeling, and you get the image of the planet.

    You can think of it a a poor Sonogram of the tummy of the earth…

    @Malaga View:

    There are actually 2 related issues (and I’d originally focused only on one… though I’d thought of putting both in – but didn’t want a ‘muddy diffuse’ opening posting… but since you brought it up):

    Given a near-inviscid layer, that implies the solid inner core is decoupled from the outer shell to a highly significant degree. That further implies that things like the change of axial tilt we see is ONLY defined in terms fo the outer shell. The implication of those two is that things like “magnetic field flips” could easily be a ‘gyro tumble’ of the inner solid core (due to change of electric flux from the sun as we transistion polarities? Crossing the “galactic midline”? who knows…) as the ‘homopolor’ motor gets a different set of pumping currents. (Or it could just be that the crust / mantle layer insulates the inner core from the stabilizing impact of the moon. No stabilization and it can spin and tumble whatever way it wants. Spin a top and watch how it tumbles if the axis gets even a minor surface imperfection translanting some ‘spin’ into precession or deflection)

    So it doesn’t matter a whole lot to the question of “what happens when it tumbles” to know what causes the tumble; it is enough just to know that a much more symetrical core insulated from the ‘bulge stabilizing’ outer layers would be able to tumble in an inviscid environment.

    Of course, speculating about the ‘what and why’ of a tumble is also ‘fruitful’, but for different fruits ;-) (Me among them 8-}

    So I’m seeing this much less stabilized solid inner core with a “well lubed” layer and then this slightly bulged and lumpy mantle / crust layer that’s somewhat ‘moon stabilized’ but also floating on a ‘well lubed’ layer (and with a load of convective and mass transport processes happening inside it and on the surface as Ice Ages) and it just looks pretty darned unstable to me.

    Thus the question “Can it slip?” (Which then raises “If so, why hasn’t it… lately… AND: those historical / mythological reports of ‘the starts and heavens moving’ might not be so fanciful after all?)

    BUT, with both solid parts “well lubed”, it expands to “What happens when each slips? Relative to each other and / or relative to the solar system or galactic mid-line reference planes.?

    You can see what at that point I realized I had no clue how to approach this as a math problem. Just too much going on with too much in the ‘unknown’ column.

    The idea of the crusty bits collecting at one end or the other relative to the galaxy year is an interesting one. Don’t know what to do with it though…

    (Sidebar: 1 cup coffee, 1 cup tea, one medium coke. About to make more coffee… aproaching ‘noon to 6 pm’ golden hours of highest body temperature / best function. For me, that matters more than most. I have a larger than normal day /night temperature swing. I was measured over a 3 month period and will hit 97.6 F when cold about 6 AM and up to 99.3 F when warmest about 3 PM – 6 pm and litterally “when you’re hot you’re hot”…)

    Off to make coffee and ponder the earth as a spray paint can and wondering who is the graffitti artist shaking the can….

  18. agesilaus says:

    OK the earth has mass, lots of mass (6X10**24 kg) even minus the core. And it takes energy to put mass in motion, you may recall F=MA from old Issac. And once you put mass in motion it takes energy to stop it, more F/M=A. There is also the conservation of angular motion and the fact that since the whole planet is turing once a dy there is serious amounts of gyroscopic stabilization especially with that equatorial bulge.

    So I don’t imagine a microscopic (in comparison with the mass of the earth) shift in ice is going to have much effect.

    Any engineer will always ask where is the energy going to come from and if you pick up that habit you will be well served.


  19. Malaga View says:

    Before I start my extended Saturday Night Happy Hour

    @ E.M.Smith
    Thomas Gold definitely tried to make it ‘all the way’… stating that no lab has been able to synthesize oil or coal from a beaker of algae or ferns… and argues that these biological sources cannot produce hydrocarbons because they are hydrogen deficient… and burying them in the ground will lead to further oxygen gains and further hydrogen losses…. and he also like to quote Sir Robert Robinson’s (1947 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) description of petroleum as “A primordial substance to which bio-products have been added”.

    @ E.M. Smith
    A solid inner core (that is effectively decoupled from the outer shell) would explain how the Magnetic North and South Poles go walk about… and perhaps the associated magnetic fields can influence the positioning of the polar jet streams and hence the weather… there is a long way to go before these ideas can evolve into theories… but I like the warm feel of this sort of joined-up and inter-connected science… must be the effect of my first cocktail :-)

  20. Malaga View says:

    @ E.M. Smith
    PS Thomas Gold has a nice diagram of the Geothermal gradient… but the diagram has shows two gradients… the Continental Geotherm and the Oceanic Geotherm… and includes the following note: The deep ground under the oceans is generally hotter than deep gound at the same depth on the continents.

    Not earth shattering… but just might be one of those little facts that can be used to tie things together… especially as it is not mentioned (or perhaps it has been removed) from Wikipedia

  21. on 22 January 2011 at 12:24 pm
    P.G. Sharrow

    Oliver this is the first time that I have heard that “A layer of fluid carbon dioxide (CO2) may exist near the boundary of the upper mantle/lower crust.”

    I don’t know if the idea has been published, but it seems to be a viable explanation for the fact that a chain of volcanic islands forms when the crust migrates over a “hot spot” in the Earth’s mantle.

    Have heard of violent, volcano-like CO2 eruptions?

    So far as I know, proponents of CO2-induced global warming have ignored the possibility of sudden release of CO2 from the mantle/crust boundary.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  22. Postscript:

    I should also mention empirical evidence that Earth accreted in layers, . . . except for melting of the upper mantle to form the crust, the oceans, air, and the depleted upper mantle:

    “The noble gas record of the terrestrial planets”, Geochemical Journal 15, 247-267 (1981)

    It may be no mere no coincidence that the chemical composition of Earth’s layers are like those in a highly evolved star.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    Just to note that there WILL be excess CO2 under volcanoes just from the subducting carbonate rocks being decomposed if nothing else. LOADS of it, as there is far more CO2 in those rocks than anywhere else. So we know it’s there, and we know it is being liberated. The only “open issue” is “where does it go?”

    We know SOME comes back out the volcanoes. We know that hot rocks can catalyze the formation of oils (look up M5 zeolite and Mobil oil, they did this in New Zealand using natural gas as the feedstock) under heat and pressure (rather like found deep in the dirt). Could some end up as CO2 liquid at a boundarly layer? Don’t see any reason why not…

    BTW, there are several companies making “oil” from algae. It’s not hard at all and many algae can give up to 50% by mass of oil (in nitrogen reduced growing, otherwise it is down closer to 30%). Added Hydrogen? Well, all that water…

    So take a WET algae and heat / squash it in the presence of a rock catalyst and it’s darned near impossible NOT to get oil. The excess O binds with C and leaves as CO2, the CH2(x) part of the fatty acid gets the ‘acid’ part removed and you have the ‘left overs’ as alkanes. We do it at much milder conditions in labs without trouble, and it would be easier with the higher heat and pressure in the subduction zones. That you could also do the same reaction with wet carbonate rocks is the “problematic” part for sorting biogenic from abiogenic oil… (though some of the excess O2 has to go into other rock formation or into the air. You know, like Iron Oxide… “banded iron deposits” or similar.).

  24. DocMartyn says:

    build a tunnel right through the center of the Earth, then measure the gravity on the way down. On the surface you have the gravitational pull of all the Earths matter pulling you down.
    At the center of the Earth the gravity is essentially zero. The Earth core is at zero g, but is still under great pressure. Now gravity sorting should make the least massive elements migrate to the center, where pressure is high, but gravity is low. A liquid, metallic, hydrogen core would fit. Such a core could also generate currents that generate magnetic fields.

  25. TGSG says:

    “The HAB Theory” great book about this very subject.

  26. George says:

    Yeah, what that HAB theory thing is exactly what I was thinking of:

    I have a couple of problems with it, though. From that blurb linked above:

    “The interval between each occurrence in the past has ranged between 3,000 and 7,000 years. The longest period between tilts was just about 7,000 years, give or take 50. The physical evidence indicates that our present epoch has lasted approximately 7,500 years; we’ve been living on borrowed time for quite a while.”

    I am not sure I buy that.

    I am not sure I buy this either:

    “The ice caps will be riding on the equator, and practically all life – Man included – will have been extinguished.”

    I don’t think such an event would “extinguish” nearly all life and the fossil record does not show any mass extinctions at such regular intervals. But I *do* believe that the change in mass CAN change the amount of wobble about the axis.

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    I don’t see how the HAB theory with a 7000 year period can be rectified with the Amazon where “frost sensitive” plants have been alive for millions of years. One large frost, and huge numbers of species are extinct.

    You need enough time for species to move and survive.

    So I could see something that somehow keeps ending up with Brazil where it is warm, or only happens every few million years, but not a 7000 year periodic 90 degree swap.

    Antarctic ice also makes that, er, problematic.

    So I’m with George on this. Maybe a wobble or minor tilt change, but not enough to screw up Brazil or Antarctica. (Just North America and Europe ;-)

  28. George says:

    Buildup of ice at the poles would also speed up the rotation like a figure skater pulling in their arms.

  29. Malaga View says:


    Picture the Earth as a round ball spinning in place on a glass table top.

    I think I just spilt my drink all over that glass top table which is resting on the carpet due to Earth’s gravity… almost makes my can of spray paint seem sensible.

    Imagine then, that on the uppermost part of this spinning ball, you drop a tiny glob of molten metal, just slightly off center. The ball immediately begins to wobble…

    OK… imagine a spinning gyroscope… now imagine tying a 6 foot piece of rope to the gyroscope… now imagine swinging the rope around and around above your head so that the gyroscope is flying around in circles above your head… now imagine you drop a tiny glob of molten metal, just slightly off center onto the gyroscope.

    Please do not try this experiment near a glass top table :-)

  30. H.R. says:

    @Malaga View
    Picture the Earth as a round ball spinning in place on a glass table top.
    Please do not try this experiment near a glass top table :-)”

    Why not? ( double ;o) )

  31. Douglas R. Fix says:

    Charles Hapgood, provides a decent survey of the timing of geomagnetic pole movements in ‘The Path of the Poles’ (1970). Causation is weak in both 1958 and 1970 editions, but whose isn’t.

    Slightly off topic:

    Rand Flem-Ath, provides evidence in ‘The Atlantis Blueprint’ (2000), that we aren’t the first to notice.

    Hapgood, in ‘Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings’ (1966), provides clues to the technological capabilities of the the ‘Ancients’.

    Christopher Dunn, in ‘The Giza Power Plant’ (1998), examines additional evidence of the capabilities of the the ‘Ancients’.

  32. George says:

    A combination of faster rotation and increased wobble could cause some interesting results, I would think.

  33. Hugo M says:

    E.M.Smith: “THE major issue for the ‘expanding earth’ thesis is that the ‘stuff’ must come from somewhere.”

    Hilgenberg’s assumption was that matter is being newly created, at a rate varying with time.

  34. Malaga View says:

    Hugo M
    Hilgenberg’s assumption was that matter is being newly created, at a rate varying with time.

    The Malaga View working assumption is that the extremes of great heat and pressure [at the core of stars and some critical mass planets] act as a melting pot whereby low atomic number atoms are effectively boiled off from a dense core of a higher atomic number… hence my interest in abiogenic hydrocarbons and Oliver K. Manuel´s The Suns Origin paper which views the Sun as a giant plasma diffuser of atoms by weight. This type of process at the core of the earth could allow the volume of the earth to increase without changing its mass… and this process [in a planet] could explain the evolution of the Gas Giants in our solar system.

  35. Hugo M says:

    Malaga View said:”This type of process at the core of the earth could allow the volume of the earth to increase without changing its mass”.

    Don’t forget about the dinosaurs. An expanding earth and a constant mass can’t be a correct at the same time. If Hilgenberg was corrrect, earth had about 60% of its current diameter 300 million years ago. If you assume constant mass, acceleration on earth’s surface had to be 1/(r -0.4 r)^2, which is about three times stronger. Some people argue that even with current gravity the bigger species had been unable to move (let alone to fly).

  36. Malaga View says:

    @ Hugo M
    An expanding earth and a constant mass can’t be a correct at the same time.

    In this territory anything is possible… as E.M. says the ‘stuff’ must come from somewhere and I tend to agree with him there… what I am suggesting is that there is some form of fractional distillation happening where the outputs are volumetrically greater than the inputs.

  37. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Actually there is an input, The thing that everything is made of. Matter sucks, E/(SA*10to7th)*C = M, or gravity to mass. This will convert dark matter to (matter)protons and create mass. pg

  38. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve been busy over at WUWT (where one of my articles was picked up) and I see you’ve been having an interesting time here without me!

    OK, I can see “stuff” falling from space. (Anyone can on a clear night in August…)

    I can see “big molecules of high density break down to smaller density – more volume same mass”.

    I can see where this might even happen at the nuclear level (though we’d need a lot of heat disposal… wait, isn’t Jupiter radiating more than it gets?… and isn’t our planet hot in the middle, like liquid iron hot…)

    Now P.G. Sharrow tosses a twist at me that E=MC^2 and that the M depends on gravity and I’m definitly going to need some coffee time… So, P.G. any links to an article that ‘walks me through that’ a bit? Not that I’m lazy… just a bit too tired to want to work it all out myself if I can just browse with a mocha in hand ;-)

  39. P.G. Sharrow says:

    E.M. sorry to throw you a curve. I am working on the same thing that Albert was working on a hundred years ago. He was trying to explain gravity and that required the explanation of inertia & mass. These required explanation of Light. So he and his first wife worked on that. He never got to gravity. He did come up with E=M*(C*C). The trouble with this simple piece of algebra is that it is wrong in the way that most people understand it and wrong in fact.

    E equals Energy. M equals Mass (not matter). C squared equals the speed of light times its’ self, a wrong concept.
    When the neutron converts to hydrogen at the speed of light it loses a tiny amount of mass. E=M*C * the change in size of the neutron to a hydrogen atom. SA ( Sphere Area ) times 10 to the 7th power, which is the size change. The speed of light squared is about the same amount but gives the wrong concept, just as mass and matter are not the same thing.
    As to citation of authority? P.G. says! ;-) pg

  40. P.G. Sharrow says:

    More on thread, Continental Drift

    The continents are made up of silicates, aluminates, carbonates and oxides. These float atop the ferrous metal core and metallic mantle like rafts on water. The ocean beds are a thin crust of cold slag that float atop the molten mantle which is mostly metallic. The earth is an oblatesphereoid, that is it is egg shaped. A large body in space will acquire the round shape of a sphere due to gravity. If it rotates it takes the shape of a ellipsoid as centrifugal force shortens the polar length and expands the equator size. The earth is a plastic ferrous metal ball that has a magnetic field. Magnetic lines of force have flow along them, from south to north outside and north to south inside. This pushes down the northern latitudes and pushes up the southern latitudes relative to the gravitational / centrifugal shape. The magnetic field of the earth is the sum total of all the “magnetic cells”of the earth. These are created by circulations of molten or plastic metallic material below the surface as well as effects of the suns’ magnetic fields. The continental rafts try to move down slope to the “low” spots from the “high” spots. As the magnetic fields change in strength and position they change the “surface” of the planet. Also a rotating body will vibrate due to off balance in the spin. On a fluid base, this causes the off balance to move to create a balanced condition. At this time this means that the southern continent is locked in the southern hole as it is up hill to leave, The main land masses slide north down hill and are spreading apart to balance the spin. According to pg ;-)

  41. E.M.Smith says:

    So, IFF I’m following you, you are saying that proximity breeds gravity (and thus mass) so changes of proximity can also convert that mass back to energy?

    Would explain the black hole effect where the more stuff gets closer the greater the gravity becomes so the more mass you have (even though not more ‘stuff’…) and without the whole time-dilation-approaching-the-speed-of-light-but-not-in-my-time-zone issue… (Stuff falls toward S.O.L. but never reaches speed of light as it’s ‘time slows down’… so ends up perpetually on the event horizon falling in from our point of view. Seems to me S. Hawking had some “issues” with that solution as well… )

    So in that paradigm as some “stuff” became less close, you’d get some mass to energy conversion, so a hot sun? And for infall you get ‘gravity’ to ‘mass’ conversion with loss of gravitational potential energy? Or am I mixing things up? It’s a different metaphor to try to work…

  42. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Ok, the problem is that gravity is not a thing, it is an effect. A verb not a noun. The ability to do work, energy potential. The energy equals 60hp to accelerate 1000lbs at the earths’ surface. Dark matter, dark energy are two sides of the same thing that is not there but makes up 97% of the mass of the universe. Matter “sucks” on this to yield gravity, as matter changes in acceleration this stuff resists that change. This “suck” is actually charge change as dark matter has a charge or energy and matter has low charge. Remember your electronics “all electrons feel the charge of of all other electrons” this is dark energy. As you change the total relative energy contained in matter you change the effective mass/inertia exibited. As you drag in dark energy you also get dark matter. So the stuff of space becomes matter as well as mass. Mass/inertia and gravity are effects in the stuff of space created by matter, not effects in the matter. This is why I call space stuff, dark matter/ dark energy “Aether”, as it is easier to write. Though to call it aether makes you a fool to “educated” people.
    I am working to construct a high energy device to confuse mass/inertia effects on space. pg
    Have I made the mud any clearer?
    No wonder Albert could not get a good handle on this.

  43. Hugo M says:

    P.G. Sharrow said “E / (SA*10to7th) * C = M”, explained some voluminous posts later that “SA” would denotify “Sphere Area”, with Einstein’s original formula allegedly being wrong.

    Well, at least Einsteins formula is formally and physically sane with respect to the units on both sides:

    E [kg * m^2/s^2] = m [kg] * c^2 [m^2/s^2]
    [kg * m^2/s^2 ] = [kg * m^2/s^2 ]

    wheras Sharrow’s version — assuming and correcting for improperly placed parenthesis — does not:

    E [kg * m^2/s^2] / ( SA * 10^7 [m^2] * C [m/s] ) = m [kg]
    => [kg * m^-1 * s^-1] != [kg]

    Assuming Sharrow placed the parentheses intentionally like he actually did, the resulting units look still cumbersome:

    E [kg * m^2/s^2] / ( SA * 10^7 [m^2]) * C [m/s] = m [kg]
    => [kg m * s^-3] != [kg]

  44. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Sorry, the language of mathematics of modern physics is not one that I “speak” well. Perhaps you should try english. pg

  45. Unfortunately, a lot of modern science is meaningless gobbledygook.

    In my career, I had to learn to discriminate between
    “what is”, and “how” or “why”. E.g.,

    “WHAT IS”

    1. In 1971 we found the decay products of extinct I-129 and Pu-244 in the Earth [“The xenon record of extinct radioactivities in the Earth,” Science 174, 1334-1336 (1971)]

    “HOW?” or “WHY?”

    1. In 1981 we found that the Earth accreted in layers, directly from the layers of elements in supernova debris [“The noble gas record of the terrestrial planets”, Geochemical Journal 15, 247-267 (1981)]

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  46. Hugo M says:

    @P.G. Sharrow: Ok, in plain English: your units do not add up. The unit of energy is Joule, which is Newton times meter, or [kg * m / s^2] * [m] or finally [kg * m^2/s^2]. Now look at your equation and see if you get the same units of both sites of your equation “E / (SA*10to7th) * C = M”.

  47. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Interesting, we seem to have lost the EMF componet in the output! Oh well I work in applied science. Later you can write an algebraic formula that is acceptable and get all the credit. pg

  48. M.Grandis says:

    The Earth is not circular. There are bulges caused by rotation and other inconsistancies. The crust is locked into that shape and held there by the friction inherent in plate tectonics. In order for crustal displacement to occur then this friction must be overcome and the plates must shift into a new alignment.

    The Siberian Mammoth findings suggest that these beasts were transported from a sub-tropical climate (food still in their belly and gullet was sub tropical plants) to a well below freezing climate in as little as an hour. This fits with the idea of a build of force then a sudden catastrophic ‘SNAP’ of action. Moving say 1/4 of the planets circumference, say 6000 miles in one hour is well past supersonic and my immediate thought was impossible.

    With the surface moving at that speed then the atmosphere and any surface water would also be moving quickly as well. My next thought was ‘What happens to an ocean when you decelerate it fairly sharply from a great speed?’. Well it slops. Two Mile high walls of water, that sort of thing. this would also account for the many instances in which traces of marine life are found on mountains in areas with no trace of an ancient sea bed.

  49. Hugo M says:

    The online journal “New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter” makes a very interesting read in context. There I learned that indeed a discontinous drifting, i.e. a slipping earthcrust was proposed to explain the pattern of Ophiolite (“Snake rocks”), with a view to save plate tectonics and the continental drift theory.

    The newsletter is a collection of heretical views regarding geophysics, which do share the common point that plate tectonics can’t be correct and/or that the authors have been stonewalled by the peer review system.

    Re expanding earth (which is only one among several hypotheses) and the implicit need of creation of baryonic matter, I learned that there is also the Hydridic-Earth hypothesis, which does not depend on this condition. Here is a summary:

    […] What mechanism caused the axis change described by Milankovich? But according to the latter author there is statistically a connection with solar cycles. Taking into account the colossal inertia of the Earth, we must search for its reasons not in the space, but inside our planet even if the trigger mechanisms are in space.
    Concerning the dynamical causes of the polar drift, perhaps the problem can be viewed within the hypothesis of an Expanding Earth (e. g. Scalera, 2003) – for which a possible mechanism has been suggested by Larin’s hydridic Earth (Larin, 1993). According to this model, in the primary hydridic Earth a metallospere was formed after decomposition of hydrides, and related hydrogen degasification. This led to essential decompression of substances and, accordingly, to subsequent expansion of the Earth. On the other hand, the seemingly “irregular degassing and the associated internal reorganization of planetary mass would naturally have caused changes of spin rate as well as episodic changes of spatial orientation of the body of the Earth – thereby repositioning the equatorial bulge” (Storetvedt and
    Longhinos, 2011). This gives a ready explanation of the classical phenomenon of True Polar Wander — a dynamical process substantiated more than a century ago on the basis of rock and fossil evidence for palaeoclimate (Kreichgauer, 1902; Köppen and Wegener, 1924). But in case of an irregular expansion of the Earth’s body, Polar Wander might have been the dynamical consequence. However, most expansion alternatives suggest uniform enlargement of the globe. Furthermore, expansion hypotheses takes for granted that seafloor spreading is a reality, but this idea is counteracted by a multitude of marine geophysical and geological facts (see Storetvedt, 2010 for summary). […]

    Source: New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, no. 61, December, 2011.

    Here is the URL:

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    @Hugo M:

    I’m usually resistant to the ‘expanding earth’ ideas for the simple reason of “conservation of matter”. The added “stuff” has to come from somewhere… Anything over a tiny depth in the crust and pressures are so great that minor changes of chemical structure don’t make for more volume.

    It’s a hard row to hoe.

    I’ll have to look at “Snake rocks” to see what they bring to the party.

    @M. Grandis:

    I think the easier explanation for the Mammoths was the comet impact into the Ice Sheet of N. America about 10,000 BC which would have sent a wall of below freezing slurry rushing over Siberia. Flash freeze and the deep ‘muck’ both explained in one go. Leave the problem of the ice sheets being more Canada centric than the present pole location. So my idea is just that a little crustal slip happened due to the impact (that was not vertical, but swooping in over the southwest).

  51. Hugo M says:


    one has to be aware that we are dealing with very small quantities per unit of time. Even if we do believe in Einstein (and, qualitatively, in P.G. Sharrow for the inverse path), matter actually isn’t conserved, only energy is (in a closed system, which earth obviously is not). Thus I do think that such a subtile question can’t be decided by hand waving, based upon what is commonly accepted, published and thus cited widely.

    Late in my life, for example, I’ve learned from Reginald Cahill, who is an experimental physicist and prof. emeritus from Flinders University (Australia), that the famous Michelson-Morley experiment actually did not deliver a null result as it was touted around. One has to read Dayton C. Miller’s diligent reports on his follow-up experiments to get an impression of the statistical grounds, and Cahill’s report on coaxial cable based interferometer experiments for the implications. This one particularily interested me: h ttp:// , as it has practical implications. The Miller citation can be found therein.

    When it comes to plate tectonic and continental drift, I actually do prefer to follow Hilgenberg, simply because this explanation is simple, elegant and able to demonstrate that the continental shapes fit to each other almost exactly. This is very much in contrast to the arbitrary looking displacements and bizarre twistings of continents which follow from the Pangaea hypothesis and the continental drift theory when trying to explain the current continental distribution. Apparently (I haven’t done it myself so can’t exclude video trickery) Hilgenberg’s idea can be applied also to other planets and moons of our solar system: I’ve seen animations applying the same idea to Mars and Ganymed, with the very same result — that the continent-like structures fit seamlessly on spheres of about 2/3 of their current diameters.

  52. adolfogiurfa says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    23 April 2012 at 9:11 am
    @Hugo M:

    I’m usually resistant to the ‘expanding earth’ ideas for the simple reason of “conservation of matter”. The added “stuff” has to come from somewhere… Anything over a tiny depth in the crust and pressures are so great that minor changes of chemical structure don’t make for more volume.

    But that´s a mirage!, nobody counts the zillions of tons coming from space, from the Sun. We are inclined to think that those “protons”, “electrons”, etc. from above are immaterial things which we just imagine and do not feel or see.

  53. Hugo M says:

    Adolpho, the density of solar wind is said to be around five atoms per cm^3 near earth, currently. Thus the flux of matter is in a way much more comparable to very light snowfall than to the baryonic waterfall needed here. If anything, I’d think that the very intense neutrino radiation could have a much greater probability to interact with matter than it is commonly assumed, considering the very dense, very hot and thus very exotic conditions in the inner core. The multiple personality syndrom ascribed to neutrinos in order to cover the discrepancy between the neutrino detection experiments and the commonly accepted model of their creation in stars is suspicious, also in this respect.

  54. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Hugo M: One forgotten fact is that according to M.Plack´s equation, higher energy frequencies, corresponding to smaller wavelengths can be transformed in longer wavelengths and lower energy frequencies, thus “mass” is a relative thing: Higher energies “contain” more “mass” in it though vibrating at higher frequencies.

  55. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Malaga View: I wrote you in TB talkshop asking if you have any web-page where we could find your ideas.
    Well, let´s see: A higher energy level corresponds to a shorter wavelength (diameter), the Sun has a higher energy level than the earth, then it follows that the sun´s core should be smaller than the earth:

  56. adolfogiurfa says:

    BTW…Our earth, like the Sun, has a humble “thermosphere” having a temperature of 1500ºC….we are evolving…

  57. Marshall Ihrig says:

    In the musings about the possibilities of mass and energy thansfers here there is an element that has been neglected; it is called “unexpected consequences” . There are many things being considered in the discussions here, their effects on the comments here and unknown may be as important as the ones that are “known”. Specifically the periodic occurance of a well known, and well documented recurance of the periodic temperature change known as “el nino” (the little one). I have pondered this phenomenon for several years and I have come to the conclusion that there may be an underlying cause that is related to something in the mantle of the earth itself. Is it possible that the shifts discussed here are effecting this phenomenon? The fluid nature of the iron mentioned here could possibly affect the way things are centered in the earth thus causing a slight movement of a balanced item such as gravity near the surface thus causing the “el nino” affect.

  58. @ EM Smith

    If slippage of Earth’s crust occurs, it will probably be lubricated by fluid CO2 that accumulated at the boundary between the partially melted upper mantle and the totally melted portion that became the lower crust.

    That fluid CO2 contains decay products from extinct, short-lived radioactive elements produced at the very birth of the Solar System [1,2]:

    1. “The xenon record of extinct radioactivities in the Earth,” Science 174, 1334-1336 (1971)

    2. “Noble gases in an Hawaiian xenolith”, Nature 257, 778-780 (1975)

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

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