ABSTRACT

A detailed analysis of the problem of the earth's density variation has been extended to the earth's central core. It is shown that in the region between the outer boundary of the core and a distance of about 1400 km. from the earth's center the density ranges from 9.4 gm/cm.3 to 11.5 gm/cm.3 within an uncertainty which, if certain general assumptions are true, does not exceed 3 per cent. The density and pressure figures are, moreover, compatible with the existence of fairly pure iron in this part of the earth. The result for the earth's outer mantle as given in a previously published paper, together with those in the present paper, are found to give with good precision the density distribution in a region occupying 99 per cent of the earth's volume. Values of the density within 1400 km. of the earth's center are subject, however, to a wide margin of uncertainty, and there appears to be no means of resolving this uncertainty for the present. The most that can be said is that the mean density in the latter region is greater than 12.3 gm/cm.3 and may quite possibly be several gm/cm.3 in excess of this figure. In the present paper figures are also included for the variation of gravity and the distribution of pressure within the central core. The gravity results are shown to be subject to an appreciable uncertainty except within about 1000 km. of the outer boundary of the core, but the pressure results are expected to be closely accurate at all depths.

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