Toroidal flux oscillation as possible cause of geomagnetic excursions and reversals

F.H. Busse, R.D. Simitev

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter, comment or opinionpeer-review


It is proposed that convection driven dynamos operating in planetary cores could be oscillatory even when the oscillations are not directly noticeable from the outside. Examples of dynamo simulations are pointed out that exhibit oscillations in the structure of the azimuthally averaged toroidal magnetic flux while the mean poloidal field shows only variations in its amplitude. In the case of the geomagnetic field, global excursions may be associated with these oscillations. Long period dynamo simulations indicate that the oscillations may cause reversals once in a while. No special attempt has been made to use most realistic parameter values. Nevertheless some similarities between the simulations and the paleomagnetic record can be pointed out. Crown
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

Bibliographical note

© 2009, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • geodynamo
  • excursions
  • reversal
  • dynamo oscillations


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