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An alternative look at force balances in geodynamo simulations (Invited speaker)

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DY2W01 - Dynamos in planets and stars - similarities and differences

Numerical simulations of the geodynamo (and other planetary dynamos) have made significant progress in recent years. As computing power has advanced, new models have appeared that claim to be ever more appropriate for understanding Earth’s core dynamics. One measure of the success of such models is the ability to replicate the expected balance between forces operating within the core; rotational (Coriolis) and magnetic (Lorentz) forces are predicted to be most important. The picture is complicated by the existence of the pressure gradient force, which is not dynamically important but exists to balance gradient parts of the other forces. This can confuse the situation, especially when forces are dependent on lengthscale.  In this work we consider force balances through the novel alternative approach of eliminating the gradient parts of each force. We perform a lengthscale dependent analysis for several spherical simulations in different regimes. We find that removal of the gradient parts through curled or projected forces offers a different and clearer picture of the force balance compared to looking at traditional forces alone. Two different dipolar dynamo states are revealed through this method; this has implications for geodynamo models attesting to have reached Earth-like regimes.  

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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