Questions tagged [geophysics]

The study of the physical processes and properties of the planet Earth. Applicable to many subjects about Earth, such as its shape, its magnetic field, and ocean currents.

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Would a gyroscope have solved the longitude problem?

So I was thinking about the longitude problem, which was the problem of determining the longitude at sea. It caused great problems in sea navigation. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longitude#...
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Would a 100-m tall wave really get reduced to near-zero height by hitting a West Cost style continental shelf, before reaching the actual shore?

This seems to be the conclusion of a 1996 study but the US Defense Nuclear Agency (which was renamed since then). Short shelf there refers to a West Coast style situation, known to allow for higher ...
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Do we have a "good" model for the temperature of the Earth's crust/mantle/core measured from the center of the earth?

Is there a "good" function $f$ that models the temperature of the Earth's crust/mantle/core measured $r$ miles from the center of the earth? By good, I mean a function that strikes a nice ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Do neutrons fall to the center of the earth?

Neutrons have no electric charge so they don't interact with the electric and magnetic fields, have mass so they do interact with gravity and are smaller than nuclei so they pass through most atoms, ...
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4 votes
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Why is ozone $\rm O_3$ in the Earth's upper atmosphere?

If you look at the density table, you will see that ozone has the highest density among other gases, so why is it in the upper layer of the atmosphere, in the picture I schematically drew how the ...
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What is the physical meaning of self-attraction and loading (SAL) in tides?

I came across the term self-attraction and loading (SAL) in many papers about tides. However, I don't understand the physical aspect of it. According to what I understand, self-attraction refers to ...
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Approximating the warmest time of day

I'm trying to find a very simple approximation of when the maximum air temperature will occur on a given day at a given location. By "air temperature," I just mean the air temperature at ...
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Taking the mystery out of geopotential coefficients

Geopotential coefficients are usually notated Cnm and Snm (for example, see this IERS Tech Note). My questions (in the order I care about them) are, What are the constraints on n and m? Is n always ...
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What direction is the wave traveling in? [closed]

I don't understand how one can derive the direction of travel of the wave just using equations for displacement. I believe it might be related to the wave equation which helps with other parameters ...
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Upper limit of Schumann resonance harmonics?

This is a re-post from the Earth Science Stack Exchange which was posted two month ago. Due to the nature of the question and the SE site, it might be better to post this question here. As the Earth'...
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How to compute the Ocean tidal effect by giving the lat+long for specific location on a website?

I am quite new in this and interested in computation of contribution of the Ocean tidal gravity. I am following the website (http://massloading.net/ondemand_form.html) to get the data but I want to ...
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Solar constant and Energy received by the Earth

I've been reading about black body radiation and I came across the topic of solar irradiance. If we consider the sun to be a perfect blackbody, then the intensity of the solar radiation at a distance ...
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How long do geostrophic currents last?

My professor posed this question, without any relevant material. I suppose the currents last until the density gradient is neutralized, but I can't find any literature nor articles on this, regarding ...
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Best latitude to harness solar power during June?

What is the best latitude at which to place a solar panel during the month of June? Assume for simplicity that any any given latitude there is a place without clouds or large mountains to obstruct the ...
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Actual astronomic latitude (direction of gravity) does not match calculations taking into account centrifugal force of earth

ABBREVIATED QUESTION/PROBLEM: The direction of earth's gravity vector does not point towards the center of the earth due to centrifugal force. Theoretically, it should point away by .1 degree. But it ...
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How can the change of the Earth's temperature be determined with more than 1/10 K accuracy as IPCC suggests?

How can one determine the extent of global warming (expressed as a temperature difference) with such precision? The latest IPCC report states temperature changes to fractions of one degree - without ...
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Earth's core must be producing light, where is that light energy going?

Earth core is about 5000°C hot. It must be producing light but no one can see it. So where is that light energy going? It isn't escaping to space for sure.
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How would I determine the charge density of an active lava flow?

It is my understanding that in molten silicates, such as a basaltic lava flow, electrons are decoupled from solid state structures. If this is the case, as lava is flowing through a tube, how would I ...
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27 votes
6 answers
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Does gravity get stronger the higher up you are on a mountain?

So I saw this article stating that gravity is stronger on the top on the mountain due to there being more mass under you however I have read some questions other people have asked and most of the ...
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19 votes
1 answer
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How much of Earth's mass is created by the energy of the core?

I've read that higher energy means higher mass, and in atomic systems, the kinetic energy and potential energy actually contributes more mass than the actual particles themselves (or so I've read). So,...
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Why don't the Earth's oceans generate a magnetic field?

Many questions have been asked here about why the Earth has a magnetic field, e.g., What is the source of Earth's magnetic field? How does Earth's interior dynamo work? How can an ...
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What's the minimum possible size of a round astronomical body?

What's the minimum possible size of a spherical shaped rocky planet or satellite? Is it possible to occur a spherical shaped planet without having a molten core?
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How many waves are in the ocean? [closed]

XKCD #2741 mentions in the title text It's cool how, when there's a number lots of people are curious about, but which isn't easy to measure, some random guess will get cited everywhere and become ...
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How quickly can methane hydrate dissociation create overpressure in sediments?

Can it overpressurise the sediments or it degrades way too slowly to do that? How does the pressure dissipates in the sediments?
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3 votes
2 answers
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What is the pressure at the centre of the Earth? [duplicate]

If the (net) gravity (at the centre of the Earth) is $0$, then what is the pressure? Some say it's astronomically big, but how can that be? Is it because of the (high) temperature? I can't think of ...
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1 vote
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Atmospheres and oceans on lower gravity planets

Using Earth as an example, how much less gravity could the planet exert and still retain its atmosphere and oceans? Or is it a matter of size, mass, magnetosphere, place in the solar system, all of ...
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How much does wind speed change in an area/over time?

I am currently planning to implement wind force into a physics simulation and have a hard time figuring out how to best approach the problem. My main concern here is how consistent wind speed is. How ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Had the centrifugal force of the rotation of Earth in the past forced liquid, hot Pangea to be positioned near the Equator?

Had the centrifugal force of the rotation of Earth in the past forced liquid, hot Pangea to be positioned near the Equator? Maybe also a question for 'GSE' but if we deal with centrifugal forces and ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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Paradox about greenhouse effect?

I know about the greenhouse effect, but isn't earth receiving the same amount of energy but getting hotter than with that same amount of energy? My guess is that earth reflects less light, but then ...
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45 votes
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Why can't the Earth's core melt the whole planet?

Earth core temperature is range between 4,400° Celsius (7,952° Fahrenheit) to about 6,000° Celsius (10,800° Fahrenheit). Source Why can't the Earth's core melt the whole planet? In other words, what ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Is General Relativity (GR) compatible with the expanding Earth hypothesis? [closed]

There is a lot of convincing evidence that the Earth and all the other planets and their moons are expanding with time. Prof. Samuel Warren Carey's summary of the evidence: https://www.youtube.com/...
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Is there a modern accurate formula for the length of the sidereal year?

Newcomb (1898) gives the following formula for calculating the tropical year: $$365.24219879 - 0.00000614T$$ And the following for calculating the sidereal year: $$365.25636042 + 0.00000011T$$ Where T ...
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Calculate the radius of Mercury's core with density, equatorial radius [closed]

I have a task where I don't know how to solve the second part. Some data on the planet Mercury: mean density $5400$ $kg/m^3$, equatorial radius $2440$ $km$, oblateness $0.0$, period of rotation $58....
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Is there a correlation between the Earth's spin, the moon, and temperature?

Based on NASA's arcticle, changes to land, ice sheet, ocean, and mantle flow affect Earth's spin. Does the moon's elliptical orbit around Earth also affect Earth's spin? What effect does distance play?...
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Why are the Earth and Moon so different?

The suggestion was made that the Earth and the Moon are two parts of a once whole object. If that is true then they must share the same basic composition. They also receive fairly similar amounts of ...
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What exactly are the 2 points where a magnetic needle becomes horizontal?

Textbooks and websites say: A magnetic needle rests making different angles with horizontal when suspended at different places of the earth In the explanation, they say that the magnetic needle ...
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2 votes
2 answers
231 views

How to explain the Earth's Equatorial bulge without centrifugal force?

There are many answers to the question why is the Earth bulged at the equator, see e.g. here, but almost all of them involve centrifugal force. Since it's a fictitious force, how to we explain this ...
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1 vote
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Does the Earth's magnetic field reversal and the corresponding magnetostrictive stress and strain make any contribution to the Earth's oblateness?

If the changing magnetic field in a power grid's transformer can induce stress and strain on the transformer core, then can the changing magnetic field of the Earth, similarly, place stresses and ...
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If the moon became a black hole, how much lower would the temperature be on Earth's surface?

I read that if the Sun became a black hole the Earth would become colder, but the effect would be negligible because the mass of the hole is still there so there would still be tides. But, how much ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Does the inner core of the Earth drop?

If standing on earth, I experience the planet's gravity. Rain drops are accelerated to move toward its centre and reach the crust. These attractions are mutual. This contrasts to e.g., the ISS with ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What will pole reversal cause to modern world and civilization?

I don't think it's just a matter of reorienting maps and recalibrating compasses. In any case, how long does a inversion last? hours, days, weeks, years? If it lasts days or more.... would Sun fry ...
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Why is deep water cold while deep soil is hot?

The temperature of deep water is around 3 or 4°C. However, in the Earth's crust, temperature increases with depth (e.g., 66°C in some underground mine). So, why would the water be cold? If the heat is ...
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What would be the increase of gravity if we create a new world slightly bigger than the earth? [closed]

I need to know what would happen if I increased the earth's size by a small percentage to make a fictional world similar to earth. So my thought process is this: My thinking started with increasing ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Clarifying the relationship between pressure and temperature?

From the ideal gas law, we are aware that PV = nRT, which seems to suggest a direct relationship between pressure and temperature, or that as temperature increases, pressure increases. In my geography ...
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Can gravity be measured by proximity?

Can the topography of a terrain be measured by a gravimeter to give a clear image of the surface or sub-surface of a planet or does gravity scatter like light? In other words can the changes in ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Schumann resonance frequency

I keep hearing that Schumann resonances have been increasing rapidly in recent years. And that it was relatively stable before. I failed to find any scientific data proving or disproving this. I would ...
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2 answers
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Gravity force inside the Earth

It is a well known exercise on classical Newton's gravity that assuming that the Earth has an ideal round shape to compute its gravity force at the given distance from its center. (Answer: it is equal ...
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Can Earth's Magnetic Field Be as Less as -85μT and as Much as +70.46μT?

What did create the question? I was analyzing a data set where the researchers have used objective data. They have calculated earth's magnetic field through sensors and that research was conducted in ...
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1 vote
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How does the NASA InSight lander determine the depth of a Marsquake?

With only one lander with this type of equipment at one location, how can the InSight lander's investigators be so sure of the depth of the Marsquakes it detects?
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Would a 1km edge length solid tungsten cube sink through the Earth crust?

This question was inspired by this question on worldbuilding SE. Suppose you have a giant cube with $1$km edge length made out of pure tungsten and you put it somewhere on the ground. This is the size ...
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