Earth has a fifth layer – the “innermost inner core”

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Earth has a fifth layer – the “innermost inner core”

Recently scientists have discovered a new layer in the inner core of the Earth. This new layer has been discovered by seismologists from the Australian National University.

  • This layer is a ‘solid metallic ball’ within the Earth’s inner core. This is being called the “innermost inner core”.
  • It is in solid state due to high pressure deep inside the earth. The high pressure prevents the iron alloy from melting.
  • It is a crystallized structure in the innermost region of the inner core. This region is separate from the outer layer.
  • The existence of this new layer was first suggested about 20 years ago. It was identified through data collected from seismic waves generated due to earthquakes.
  • Earlier, four layers have been identified in the internal structure of the Earth.

These four layers are as follows:

  • Crust: It is the uppermost or outermost layer of the earth. It is 1 percent of the total volume of the Earth. It has two parts – the thin oceanic crust and the thick continental crust.
  • Mantle: It is the solid/elastic layer of the earth. It is about 84 percent of the Earth’s volume. It is divided into two parts – the upper mantle and the lower mantle. The uppermost mantle and the earth’s crust together form the lithosphere.
  • Outer Core: It is the liquid part of the core. It contains 80 percent iron, the rest nickel and some other lighter elements.
  • Inner Core: It is the solid part of the core. Apart from iron and nickel, it is composed of heavy elements such as gold, platinum, palladium, silver and tungsten.

Importance of the fifth new layer of the earth-

  • It will provide information about the events that happened on the earth from crores to billions of years ago.
  • It will provide a new way of obtaining information about the Earth’s inner core and most central region.
  • Information will be received about the development of the Earth’s magnetic field etc.

Source – The Hindu

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