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地质学家发现铁“雪”落在地核

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2019年12月30日

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Geologists discover iron ‘snow’ falling in Earth’s core

地质学家发现铁“雪”落在地核

The Earth’s inner core is hot and pressurized, so the idea that it could contain snow seems far-fetched.

地球的内核是炎热和高压的,所以它可能包含雪的想法似乎是牵强的。

But that’s what a team of scientists has discovered.

但这是一组科学家的发现。

In this case, however, the snow is composed of tiny particles of iron, far heavier than snow falling on the planet’s surface, that are dropping from the molten core and piling on top of the inner core.

然而,在这种情况下,雪是由微小的铁粒子组成的,远比落在地球表面的雪重,这些铁粒子从熔化的地核中掉落,堆积在地核上。

地质学家发现铁“雪”落在地核

“The Earth’s metallic core works like a magma chamber that we know better of in the crust,” Jung-Fu Lin, a professor in the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin and a co-author of the study, said in a statement.

“地球的金属核心就像一个岩浆房,我们在地壳中更了解它,”德克萨斯大学奥斯汀分校(University of Texas at Austin)杰克逊地球科学学院(Jackson School of Geosciences)教授、该研究的合着者林荣富(Jung-Fu Lin)在一份声明中说。

“It’s sort of a bizarre thing to think about,” geochemist Nick Dygert explained. “You have crystals within the outer core snowing down onto the inner core over a distance of several hundred kilometers.”

地球化学家Nick Dygert解释说:“这是一件奇怪的事情。”“外核内的晶体像雪一样飘落到内核上,绵延数百公里。”

The research paper compares the snowing of iron particles with a different process that takes place inside magma chambers near the planet’s surface and involves minerals crystallizing out of the melt and coming together. In magma chambers, the compaction of the minerals creates what the researchers call “cumulate rock.” In the Earth’s core, the compaction of the iron helps the inner core grow and the outer core shrink.

该研究论文比较了铁粒子的降雪与在地球表面附近的岩浆房中发生的不同过程,其中包括从熔体中结晶出来的矿物聚集在一起。在岩浆房中,矿物的压实形成了研究人员所说的“堆积岩”。“在地核中,铁的压实作用有助于地核的生长和地核的收缩。

地质学家发现铁“雪”落在地核

The findings could help geologists better understand how planets like ours form.

这些发现可以帮助地质学家更好地理解像我们这样的行星是如何形成的。

“Relating the model predictions to the anomalous observations allows us to draw inferences about the possible compositions of the liquid core and maybe connect this information to the conditions that prevailed at the time the planet was formed,” he said. “The starting condition is an important factor in Earth becoming the planet we know.”

他说:“将模型预测与异常观测联系起来,可以让我们推断出可能的液体内核组成,并可能将这些信息与行星形成时的普遍条件联系起来。”“初始条件是地球成为我们所知的行星的一个重要因素。”


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