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Treatise on Geophysics, Volume 8 - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444519368, 9780444535771

Treatise on Geophysics, Volume 8

1st Edition

Core Dynamics

Editor: Peter Olson
Paperback ISBN: 9780444534576
eBook ISBN: 9780444535771
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 8th October 2007
Page Count: 7000
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Treaties on Geophysics: Core Dynamics, Volume 8, provides a comprehensive review of the current state of understanding of core dynamics. The book begins by analyzing a subject of long-standing and on-going controversy: the gross energetics of the core. It then explains the important elements of dynamo theory; actual fluid motions in the core; the basic physical principles involved in thermochemical convection in the core and the basic equations governing the convection; and turbulence and the small-scale dynamics of the core. This is followed by discussions of the state of knowledge on rotation-induced core flows; the use of first-principles numerical models of self-sustaining fluid dynamos; and the behavior of polarity reversals in numerical dynamo models. The remaining chapters cover the various roles the inner core plays in core dynamics and the geodynamo; experiments that have shaped knowledge about the flows in the core that produce the geodynamo and govern its evolution; and ways the mantle can affect core dynamics, and corresponding ways the core can affect the mantle.

Key Features

  • Self-contained volume starts with an overview of the subject then explores each topic with in depth detail
  • Extensive reference lists and cross references with other volumes to facilitate further research
  • Full-color figures and tables support the text and aid in understanding
  • Content suited for both the expert and non-expert


Professionals, researchers, professors, and advanced undergraduate and graduate students working in the fields of Geophysics, Earth system science, geology, geomagnetism, ocean science, planetary and aerospace science, environmental science, seismology, petrology, mining and construction, urban planning, plus more.

Table of Contents



Editorial Advisory Board

1 Overview

2 Energetics of the Core

3 Theory of the Geodynamo

4 Large-Scale Flow in the Core

5 Thermal and Compositional Convection in the Outer Core

6 Turbulence and Small-Scale Dynamics in the Core

7 Rotational Dynamics of the Core

8 Numerical Dynamo Simulations

9 Magnetic Polarity Reversals in the Core

10 Inner-Core Dynamics

11 Experiments on Core Dynamics

12 Core–Mantle Interactions


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2009
8th October 2007
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Peter Olson

Peter Olson is a professor of geophysical fluid dynamics in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He has been involved with field work in seismic exploration for Petty Geophysical Co. and AMACO Production Co, and joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1977. His research interests include dynamics of Earth’s interior and the interiors of other planets and he has co-authored a major book, two treatise volumes, and more than 165 research papers. He is the former President of the Tectonophysics Section of the American Geophysical Union. In 2011 he received the Petrus Peregrinus Medal from the European Geosciences Union and in 2015 he was awarded the Inge Lehmann Medal from the American Geophysical Union.

Affiliations and Expertise

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA


"It is an excellently written textbook intended to provide an overview of dynamic effects that are taking place at the heart of our planet…There are several aspects of this book that distinguish it from other similar textbooks, although the most evident one is probably its capacity of identifying, in most of the chapters, the key science questions particular to each area."--Pure and Applied Geophysics, Volume 170, 2013

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