(ORDO NEWS) — In the course of a new study, it was proved that the strange behavior of our planet’s magnetic field over the South Atlantic region has been going on for millions of years. Thus, the anomaly is unlikely to lead to a change in the entire magnetic field of the Earth.
The South Atlantic Anomaly is a weak point in the Earth’s magnetic field that protects our planet from solar wind and cosmic radiation. It is caused by the fact that the inner Van Allen radiation belt is approaching the planet’s surface, increasing the flow of energetic particles. This anomaly also interferes with the signals of satellites and spacecraft.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool in England studied the volcanic rocks of Saint Helena, which lies in the zone of the South Atlantic anomaly. Records of the Earth’s magnetic field are stored in igneous rocks, making it possible to trace the magnetic history of the planet.
Researchers studied rocks from 34 volcanoes that erupted on Saint Helena about 8-11 million years ago. As volcanic rocks cool, the small iron oxide particles in them become magnetized, “remembering” the direction and strength of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Earth’s magnetic field lines run from south to north, and geomagnetic records of rocks showed that the magnetic field on Saint Helena was pointing in many different directions during the eruptions. This suggests that the region’s magnetic field has been unstable for about 11 million years.
Deviations in the planet’s magnetic field: strong ones are shown in yellow-orange, and small deviations are shown in blue. The star is located on Saint Helena.
It is believed that these fluctuations may eventually lead to a change in the Earth’s magnetic field. However, given that the magnetic field in the region of the South Atlantic anomaly has been unstable for several million years, this is unlikely.
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