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Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, November 2012
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (51st percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
3 blogs
3 tweeters
5 Facebook pages


41 Dimensions

Readers on

65 Mendeley
Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander
Published in
Nature, November 2012
DOI 10.1038/nature11571
Pubmed ID

J. R. Creveling, J. X. Mitrovica, N.-H. Chan, K. Latychev, I. Matsuyama


Palaeomagnetic studies of Palaeoproterozoic to Cretaceous rocks propose a suite of large and relatively rapid (tens of degrees over 10 to 100 million years) excursions of the rotation pole relative to the surface geography, or true polar wander (TPW). These excursions may be linked in an oscillatory, approximately coaxial succession about the centre of the contemporaneous supercontinent. Within the framework of a standard rotational theory, in which a delayed viscous adjustment of the rotational bulge acts to stabilize the rotation axis, geodynamic models for oscillatory TPW generally appeal to consecutive, opposite loading phases of comparable magnitude. Here we extend a nonlinear rotational stability theory to incorporate the stabilizing effect of TPW-induced elastic stresses in the lithosphere. We demonstrate that convectively driven inertia perturbations acting on a nearly prolate, non-hydrostatic Earth with an effective elastic lithospheric thickness of about 10 kilometres yield oscillatory TPW paths consistent with palaeomagnetic inferences. This estimate of elastic thickness can be reduced, even to zero, if the rotation axis is stabilized by long-term excess ellipticity in the plane of the TPW. We speculate that these sources of stabilization, acting on TPW driven by a time-varying mantle flow field, provide a mechanism for linking the distinct, oscillatory TPW events of the past few billion years.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 65 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 3%
United Kingdom 1 2%
France 1 2%
Unknown 61 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 16 25%
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 14%
Professor > Associate Professor 8 12%
Other 5 8%
Professor 5 8%
Other 15 23%
Unknown 7 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Earth and Planetary Sciences 39 60%
Physics and Astronomy 5 8%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 4 6%
Psychology 1 2%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 2%
Other 2 3%
Unknown 13 20%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 31. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 26 March 2014.
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Nature
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Altmetric has tracked 12,345,989 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 64,814 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 71.7. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 132,579 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1,042 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 51% of its contemporaries.