# Questions tagged [geophysics]

Geophysics is a subject of natural science concerned with the physical processes and physical properties of the Earth and its surrounding space environment.

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### Zoeppritz equations derivation

I have been long looking for the derivations and step by step explanation of Zoeppritz matrix but either internet is full of final versions or I can’t find it...I would be very thankful if anyone can ...
33k views

### Why is Earth's inner core made of an iron-nickel alloy?

This question has puzzled me for a while. I know that earth's mantle is made of different minerals, metals and rocks etc. and that has always made complete sense to me. But why is the inner core made ...
293 views

### Laboratory simulation of the Earth's magnetic field

I remember reading an article where a scientist was able to make a spinning iron tube with liquid nickel inside and it created a magnetic field, providing a laboratory-scale simulation of the ...
2k views

### Why is the temperature between the earth core and surface not distributed linearly?

So I read somewhere that the inner core temperature of Earth might be as high as 7000 °C. Depending on the composition of the different layers towards the surface, the temperature should decline ...
47 views

### Wave train 200 m/s meaning

I ran a 60 m line intended for surficial seismic refraction. Energization with hammer. 12 (10 hz vertical 5 m spaced) geophones and 5 shots (15 m spaced). Record length 0.5 s. Thanks to a borehole ...
32 views

### Can a rock have a Vp of less than 1000 m/s and need blasting to excavate?

I have run a 60 m refraction seismic line on a mountain summit. The environment was noisy (wind would be the principal agent) and quite difficult to pick first arrivals. It resulted in 800 m/s. A ...
114 views

### Why Earth's outer core does not dissolve into the mantle?

It is well accepted that the outer core is made out of liquid iron and nickel, and as everything else it should tend to reach chemical equilibrium with its surrounding. In particular, I would expect ...
38 views

### Is there any possible future for high energy geophysics? If so how it is going to revolutionize our knowledge about Earth's interior?

How practice is to map/image the subsurface of the earth using the high energy particles like neutrinos? https://www.geosci-instrum-method-data-syst.net/special_issue2.html
7k views

### Where on Earth is the magnetic field intensity stronger?

Are there places on Earth that have a strong magnetic field other than the magnetic north and south poles? Can living where (rare) earth magnetic ore is abundant provide a mini-magnetoshere?
44 views

### Relationship Between Ratio of Atmospheric Gases and Ocean Gases

A version of this question was posted in Chemistry SE and Worldbuilding SE but I've been told it wasn't appropriate to either SE. I was told to give this SE a chance. If you think it doesn't belong on ...
35 views

### Transmitter receiver coil separation for Electromagnetic Terrain Conductivity Measurement

Why increasing transmitter-receiver coil separation in EM survey (EM31, also here) increases depth of penetration? Suppose there is a horizontal flat conductive layer underneath a flat resistive ...
75 views

### Time standard for IERS Bulletin A

IERS Bulletin A and Bulletin B contains Earth orientation parameters. These include the time difference between UT1 and UTC and pole position. The values for these parameters are listed once per day, ...
96 views

### Does subduction of continental crust happen at continental-continental convergent boundaries?

What exactly happens at a continental-continental (cc) convergent boundary? I read myself through the web for the last few days and what I came up with is that such a boundary will start as an oceanic-...
1k views

### What geological mechanisms result in the great depth of the Mariana Trench?

According to the Mariana Trench Oceanography page is at a maximum depth of is 11,033 meters (36,201 feet) The 'Challenger Deep' being the name of the deepest point. I understand that it is a ...
414 views

### Is the Yellowstone National Park unique for its geysers?

The Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is unique for its large number of "thermal occurrences, of which there are some 30 geysers. This, in turn, appears to be the result of the presence of large ...
3k views

### How did the Ural mountains form?

A nice picture for "how mountains formed" on Earth is due to the motion of tectonic plates. As the plates crash together, mountains may get "pushed upwards". However, a quick look at a map of the ...
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### How does multiple layer seismic reflection work? How do we distinguish arrivals from different layers and their velocities?

Whenever we are investigating multiple layer interfaces in a seismic reflection survey the root-mean-squared velocity is often employed to deduce travel time to a certain n-th layer and also to deduce ...
110 views

### Travel Times for Seismic Wave Types - Why reflected t-x plot curves

I do not understand how the reflected wave in a seismic survey has a steepening slope (slows down) Please bear with me as I lay out my thoughts because I feel like I can grasp all of this except this ...
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### If the accuracy of measurement of the earth's volume is not known, how can scientists assert that the earth is not expanding?

Volcanic eruptions, undersea earthquakes, fissures in the crust, meteoroid accumulation could all be seen as empirical evidence of expansion of the earth. Sink holes and other phenomena could be ...
178 views

### If all the world's ice were to melt, would this shift the earth's centre of gravity with consequential effects on sea levels?

This question on Maths SE asked how we might calculate the effect on sea level if all the world's ice (ie including the whole Antarctic ice sheet) were to melt. I posted an answer containing ...
38 views

### Near-Surface Investigations: FWI vs. MASW

MASW is a common processing method for civil/geotechnical and even for oil/gas exploration (usually weathering static corrections) applications. In my experience, it seems to work well for most ...
47 views

### Barotropic vorticity equation

I came across the barotropic vorticity equation (below) in Sakamoto (2002) and I cannot figure it out. The notation is not clear to me. How can it be derived from the Navier-Stokes equation?  \beta\...
3k views

### Is the epicenter always directly above the hypocenter?

All the graphics I've seen showing epicenters with a hypocenter (labeled focus in the graph below) appear to show that epicenters are always directly above their related hypocenters. Is this correct?
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### Why do we consider hydrostatic pressure and lithostatic pressure separately?

In petroleum geology, why do we consider hydrostatic pressure and lithostatic pressure separately? Surely the pressure at any point, whether fluid or rock, at depth is simply equal the weight of all ...
184 views

### How to correct PSMSL data for GIA?

I have a PSMSL RLR (revised local reference) sea level dataset with records from various tide gauges. Can anyone explain how to correct them for GIA (glacial isostatic adjustment) using the ICE-5G ...
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### Can extratropical cyclones force global cooling?

We are living in a historical period of global warming since about 20,000 years ago. This global warming period is one of about ten in human history. Those periods may very well be forced to start by ...
160 views

### How can I calculate the sensitivity of a seismometer?

I would like to know if a specific seismometer can measure 1 micron/sec velocity. I have a few specs from the datasheet but I'm not a seismologist and am trying to figure out how to relate the specs ...
256 views

### Is Iceland an example of a hot-spot overlying a mantle plume?

Iceland has been cited as the location of a hot-spot overlying a mantle plume (similar to that of the Hawaii chain in the Pacific), though for some time this model has been challenged (see Gillian ...
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### What are the causes of the supercontinent cycle?

Throughout geologic history, Earth's continents have broken apart and come together to form supercontinents multiple times, in a somewhat regular period, known as the supercontinent cycle. The length ...
42k views

### How long until Earth's core solidifies?

How much longer does Earth have until the core turns solid? Does global warming change these estimates at all?
3k views

### How did tectonic plates originally come to form?

Plate tectonics is a theory which describes Earth's lithosphere as being composed of distinct plates which are able to move atop of the underlying asthenosphere. At plate boundaries, this movement ...
328 views

### Did the impact event that caused the Chicxulub-Crater definitively and single-handedly cause the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction?

Opinions abound on the web. What is the state of the current science regarding this theory and what is the best evidence? Is the theory gaining or losing traction? If it's losing what's the best of ...
323 views

### What are the physical upper bounds on the magnitude of an earthquake?

Given what we know about the physical mechanisms underlying earthquakes, what do the theoretical upper bounds on the magnitude of an earthquake look like? What physical phenomena impose those upper ...
8k views

### Will the Earth ever stop rotating?

It is well known that the Earth's rotation is slowing down and that millions of years ago there was a point in time where there was only a mere 20 hours in a day on Earth. My question is in two parts....
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### Why does sea level correspond to boundary between oceanic and continental crust?

Is it a coincidence? the first is determined by the amount of water on the Earth and the second comes from evolution of tectonic plates. Still, oceans seem to fill exactly the oceanic crust.
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### What causes intra-plate faults, such as the New Madrid fault?

There's been news (some recently) about the New Madrid fault and other active intra-plate faults. For those living in the midwest of the United States, it's been a bit of a shock to learn they have ...
60k views

### Why are oceanic plates denser than continental plates?

In the theory of tectonic plates, at a convergent boundary between a continental plate and an oceanic plate, the denser plate usually subducts underneath the less dense plate. It is well known that ...
354 views

### To what accuracy and precision do we know the volume of the Earth?

Satellites such as GOCE and GRACE measure the geoid with unprecedented accuracy. Altimeters can determine local surface elevation with millimetre-precision. This makes me wonder: to what precision ...
785 views

### How does one measure what causes earthquakes?

I know that they occur when energy that was previously stored is released in seismic waves. But how is the energy stored in the earth in the first place, and what can trigger the release of such ...
489 views

### Rossby radius as horizontal scale

In the introduction of "Geographical and monthly variability of the first baroclinic Rossby radius of deformation in the South China Sea", the authors states: In both theoretical and observational ...
398 views

### Is fracking likely to produce earthquakes?

Post Christchurch-2011 earthquake, there was much concern that fracking in the surrounding areas might lead to further quakes, as was rumoured to have happened elsewhere in the world. Is there ...
70 views

### Which ocean is going to be swallowed by the Supercontinent Cycle, Atlantic or Pacific?

The register shows several supercontinents have been formed on Earth's History: "The most recent supercontinent, Pangaea, formed about 300 million years ago (0.3 Ga). There are two different ...
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### Is it true that earthquakes are not felt in a cave?

I took a tour of a cave in northern California last weekend. The tour guide asked us, "If an earthquake occurred, what would we feel in here?" My answer was, "fear," but she said we would feel ...
95k views

### Are Richter-magnitude 10 earthquakes possible?

The largest earthquake since 1900 according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) was Richter-9.5 magnitude quake in Chile in 1960. Are magnitude 10 earthquakes possible? If so, what is the ...
5k views

### Farthest point from the center of the Earth

At first glance, this seems like such a simple question of "What's the highest point on Earth". However, I also know that the Earth isn't perfectly round. So that "highest point" may be in a ...
90 views

### Why the “Mission to Earth’s core” proposal suggests using liquid iron instead of lead?

Nature communications article "Mission to Earth's core — a modest proposal", suggests placing a large volume of liquid iron in a crack and let it sink all the way to the Earth's core, carrying along a ...
132 views

### Where on Earth is the most windless lake with its own micro climate sea breeze?

Would a circular lake have enough of sea breeze strong to create a gentle vortex in the center of the lake? Is there such a place on Earth where lake micro climate vortexes occur frequently? The ...
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### Hydrology- flow accumulation

I'm not specialist in hydrology, and I would be very grateful if you answer my question: What is flow accumulation in hydrology? Why algorithms used to calculate it over a raster DEM don't take ...
220 views

### Is there a “submerged object” in Australia that causes a magnetic deviation of 20 degrees?

This answer quotes this blogpost as an example of a magnetic anomaly: Basalt formation, “Mt. Jim”, in remote north-east Victoria, Australia, has a magnetic anomaly -20 degree magnetic compass ...
786 views

### Which type of convergent boundary creates the tallest mountains? [closed]

Which type of convergent boundary creates the tallest mountains? Continental-Continental Ocean-Ocean Ocean-Continental