The cataclysmic pole shift hypothesis suggests that there have been geologically rapid shifts in the relative positions of the modern-day geographic locations of the poles and the axis of rotation of the Earth, creating calamities such as floods and tectonic events.
There is evidence of precession and changes in axial tilt, but this change is on much longer time-scales and does not involve relative motion of the spin axis with respect to the planet. However, in what is known as true polar wander, the solid Earth can rotate with respect to a fixed spin axis. Research shows that during the last 200 million years a total true polar wander of some 30¡ has occurred, but that no super-rapid shifts in the Earth's pole were found during this period. A characteristic rate of true polar wander is 1° per million years or less. Between approximately 790 and 810 million years ago, when the supercontinent Rodinia existed, two geologically rapid phases of true polar wander may have occurred. In each of these, the magnetic poles of the Earth shifted by ~55°.
The potential forces that could cause a reorientation of the Earth's axis of rotation include:
A high-velocity asteroid or comet which hits Earth at such an angle that the lithosphere moves independent of the mantle.
A high-velocity asteroid or comet which hits Earth at such an angle that the entire planet shifts axis.
An unusually magnetic celestial object which passes close enough to Earth to temporarily reorient the magnetic field, which then "drags" the lithosphere about a new axis of rotation. Eventually, the sun's magnetic field again determines the Earth's, after the intruding celestial object "returns" to a location from which it cannot influence Earth.
Perturbations of the topography of the core-mantle boundary, perhaps induced by differential core rotation and shift of its axial rotation vector, leading to CMB mass redistributions.
Mass redistributions in the mantle from mantle avalanches or other deformations.
Pole Shift Theory has attracted pseudoscientific authors offering a variety of evidence, including psychic readings.
Edgar Cayce's readings were the first non-scientific publications of the twentieth century to bring the 'pole shift' concept into mass consciousness. Other authors have published books with similar theories, but their predictions, like Cayce's, did not happen.
In my opinion, reality is a consciousness hologram in which the term "pole shift" is a metaphor for a shift in consciousness at the end of the illusion of linear time.
What If Earth's Magnetic Poles Flip? Live Science - February 15, 2012
The end of the world as we know it could come in any number of ways, depending on who you ask. Some people believe global cataclysm will occur when Earth's magnetic poles reverse. When north goes south, they say, the continents will lurch in one direction or the other, triggering massive earthquakes, rapid climate change and species extinctions. The geologic record shows that hundreds of pole reversals have occurred throughout Earth's history; they happen when patches of iron atoms in Earth's liquid outer core become reverse-aligned, like tiny magnets oriented in the opposite direction from those around them. When the reversed patches grow to the point that they dominate the rest of the core, Earth's overall magnetic field flips. The last reversal happened 780,000 years ago during the Stone Age, and indeed there's evidence to suggest the planet may be in the early stages of a pole reversal right now.
2012: Magnetic pole reversal happens all the (geologic) time PhysOrg - November 30, 2011
Scientists understand that Earth's magnetic field has flipped its polarity many times over the millennia. In other words, if you were alive about 800,000 years ago, and facing what we call north with a magnetic compass in your hand, the needle would point to 'south.' This is because a magnetic compass is calibrated based on Earth's poles. The N-S markings of a compass would be 180 degrees wrong if the polarity of today's magnetic field were reversed. Many doomsday theorists have tried to take this natural geological occurrence and suggest it could lead to Earth's destruction. But would there be any dramatic effects? The answer, from the geologic and fossil records we have from hundreds of past magnetic polarity reversals, seems to be 'no.'
Earth's Magnetic Pole Moves, Throws Off Planes in Florida Live Science - January 7, 2011
Earth's magnetic pole is shifting south and apparently it's affecting planes at Tampa International Airport in Florida. Currently the planet's northern pole is moving slowly south. "The Earth's poles are changing constantly, and when they change more than three degrees, that can affect runway numbering," FAA spokesperson Kathleen Bergen told FoxNews. Earth's magnetic field is thought to be generated deep inside the planet. An inner core of solid iron is surrounded by an outer core of molten iron. They rotate at different rates, and the interaction between the regions creates what scientists call a "hydromagnetic dynamo." It's something like an electric motor, and it generates a magnetic field akin to a giant bar magnet.
The process is not completely understood. In fact, one study suggests the planet's mantle, which surrounds the core, also plays a role. The poles are always in flux. Since runway designations and other charting rely on such geomagnetic information, as the poles slide one way or another, adjustments have to be made. And every so often, the field all-together flips on its head, turning the magnetic North Pole into the South Pole and vice versa. It last happened 780,000 years ago, and is predicted to occur again in about 1,500 years, but that's a big "maybe." The overall frequency is hard to predict - there was one period in Earth's history when the field didn't reverse for 30 million years. The flip doesn't happen in a pinch, though. Studies have suggested anywhere from 1,000 to 28,000 years are required to initiate and complete a reversal.
North Magnetic Pole Moving East Due to Core Flux National Geographic - December 24, 2009
Earth's north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) a year due to magnetic changes in the planet's core, new research says. The core is too deep for scientists to directly detect its magnetic field. But researchers can infer the field's movements by tracking how Earth's magnetic field has been changing at the surface and in space. Now, newly analyzed data suggest that there's a region of rapidly changing magnetism on the core's surface, possibly being created by a mysterious "plume" of magnetism arising from deeper in the core. And it's this region that could be pulling the magnetic pole away from its long-time location in northern Canada, said Arnaud Chulliat, a geophysicist at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France.
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