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Journal Articles Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems Year : 2000

Numerical models of the geodynamo and observational constraints

Abstract

The past few years have seen the emergence of a large number of numerical simulations of the geodynamo. In parallel, both new and old geomagnetic, archeomagnetic, and paleomagnetic observations have been interpreted as actual geomagnetic features and used as constraints for dynamo models. Naturally, model predictions should be tested against actual characteristics of the geomagnetic field. Despite huge differences (sometimes in excess of a billion) between the values of parameters used in the simulations and those estimated for the Earth, it is intriguing that many available simulations succeed in producing largely axial dipolar magnetic fields with weaker nondipolar structures, in agreement with the first-order characteristics of the geomagnetic field. Yet, when considering finer characteristics, there are significant differences, and failures to actually produce a number of fundamental characteristic features. In this presentation, we first review numerical results obtained to date, then we attempt to summarize which field characteristics derived from observational data sets can be considered robust. On the basis of simple criteria used to evaluate the degree of confidence that can be placed in each datum, we sort presumably characteristic geomagnetic features into three categories (robust, controversial, and unlikely). We conclude that numerical models should be illustrated with a number of key "predictions," averaged over at least 10 dipole diffusion times. These predictions should be tested against the subset of robust observations only. Controversial observations should await additional confirmation.
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insu-03596930 , version 1 (04-03-2022)

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Emmanuel Dormy, Jean-Pierre Valet, Vincent Courtillot. Numerical models of the geodynamo and observational constraints. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 2000, 1, pp.1037-42. ⟨10.1029/2000GC000062⟩. ⟨insu-03596930⟩
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