A new model of Earth's radial conductivity structure derived from over 10 yr of satellite and observatory magnetic data

Christoph Püthe, Alexey Kuvshinov, Amir Khan, Nils Olsen

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We present a newmodel of the radial (1-D) conductivity structure of Earth's mantle. This model is derived frommore than 10 yr of magnetic measurements from the satellites ørsted, CHAMP, SAC-C and the Swarm trio as well as the global network of geomagnetic observatories. After removal of core and crustal field as predicted by a recent field model, we fit the magnetic data with spherical harmonic coefficients describing ring current activity and associated induction effects and estimate global C-responses at periods between 1.5 and 150 d. The C-responses are corrected for 3-D effects due to induction in the oceans and inverted for a 1-D model of mantle conductivity using both probabilistic and deterministic methods. Very similar results are obtained, consisting of a highly resistive upper mantle, an increase in conductivity in and beneath the transition zone and a conductive lower mantle. Analysis of the Hessian of the cost function reveals that the data are most sensitive to structures at depths between 800 and 1200 km, in agreement with the results obtained from the probabilistic approach. Preliminary interpretation of the inverted conductivity structure based on laboratory-based conductivity profiles shows that the recovered structure in the lower mantle either requires higher temperatures or the presence of material of high conductivity related to ponding of carbonate melts below the transition zone.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1864-1872
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This article has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Journal International ©The authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


  • Composition of the mantle
  • Geomagnetic induction
  • Magnetic and electrical properties
  • Time-series analysis

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