Localized temporal change of the Earth's inner core boundary

Science. 2006 Nov 10;314(5801):967-70. doi: 10.1126/science.1131692. Epub 2006 Sep 28.


Compressional waves of an earthquake doublet (two events occurring in the South Sandwich Islands on 1 December 1993 and 6 September 2003), recorded at three seismic stations in Russia and Kyrgyzstan and reflected off Earth's inner core boundary, arrived at least from 39 to 70 milliseconds earlier in the 2003 event than in the 1993 event. Such changes indicate that Earth's inner core radius enlarged locally beneath middle Africa by 0.98 to 1.75 kilometers between the times of these two events. Changes of the inner core radius may be explained by either a differential motion of the inner core, assuming that irregularities are present at the inner core boundary and fixed to the inner core, or a rapid growth of the inner core by this amount.