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Simulating the Dynamics of Earth's Core: Using NCCS Supercomputers Speeds CalculationsIf one wanted to study Earth's core directly, one would have to drill through about 1,800 miles of solid rock to reach liquid core-keeping the tunnel from collapsing under pressures that are more than 1 million atmospheres and then sink an instrument package to the bottom that could operate at 8,000 F with 10,000 tons of force crushing every square inch of its surface. Even then, several of these tunnels would probably be needed to obtain enough data. Faced with difficult or impossible tasks such as these, scientists use other available sources of information - such as seismology, mineralogy, geomagnetism, geodesy, and, above all, physical principles - to derive a model of the core and, study it by running computer simulations. One NASA researcher is doing just that on NCCS computers. Physicist and applied mathematician Weijia Kuang, of the Space Geodesy Branch, and his collaborators at Goddard have what he calls the,"second - ever" working, usable, self-consistent, fully dynamic, three-dimensional geodynamic model (see "The Geodynamic Theory"). Kuang runs his model simulations on the supercomputers at the NCCS. He and Jeremy Bloxham, of Harvard University, developed the original version, written in Fortran 77, in 1996.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: 1999 NCCS Highlights
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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