Publications

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2018
Korte, M, Constable CG.  2018.  Archeomagnetic intensity spikes: Global or regional geomagnetic field features? Frontiers in Earth Science. 6   10.3389/feart.2018.00017   AbstractWebsite

Variations of the geomagnetic field prior to direct observations are inferred from archeo- and paleomagnetic experiments. Seemingly unusual variations not seen in the present-day and historical field are of particular interest to constrain the full range of core dynamics. Recently, archeomagnetic intensity spikes, characterized by very high field values that appear to be associated with rapid secular variation rates, have been reported from several parts of the world. They were first noted in data from the Levant at around 900 BCE. A recent re-assessment of previous and new Levantine data, involving a rigorous quality assessment, interprets the observations as an extreme local geomagnetic high with at least two intensity spikes between the 11th and 8th centuries BCE. Subsequent reports of similar features from Asia, the Canary Islands and Texas raise the question of whether such features might be common occurrences, or whether they might even be part of a global magnetic field feature. Here we use spherical harmonic modeling to test two hypotheses: firstly, whether the Levantine and other potential spikes might be associated with higher dipole field intensity than shown by existing global field models around 1,000 BCE, and secondly, whether the observations from different parts of the world are compatible with a westward drifting intense flux patch. Our results suggest that the spikes originate from intense flux patches growing and decaying mostly in situ, combined with stronger and more variable dipole moment than shown by previous global field models. Axial dipole variations no more than 60% higher than observed in the present field, probably within the range of normal geodynamo behavior, seem sufficient to explain the observations.

2006
Korte, M, Constable CG.  2006.  On the use of calibrated relative paleointensity records to improve millennial-scale geomagnetic field models. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 7   10.1029/2006gc001368   AbstractWebsite

[ 1] Current millennial-scale time-varying global geomagnetic field models suffer from a lack of intensity data compared to directional data, because only thermoremanently magnetized material can provide absolute information about the past field strength. The number of archeomagnetic artifacts that can provide such data diminishes rapidly prior to 3000 B. C. Sediment cores provide time series of declination and inclination and of variations of magnetization: the latter can reflect relative geomagnetic field variations if suitably normalized. We propose a calibration technique based on predictions from global models and use the CALS7K. 2 model to calibrate relative paleointensity records from 22 globally distributed locations and assess whether they reflect actual field variations. All except a few contain useful information for 0 to 7 ka and could be used to improve the existing models. Using synthetic data from a numerical dynamo simulation, we show that with the existing directional data the distribution of intensity data has an important influence on model quality. Intensity data from a broad range of latitudes seem particularly important. This study opens the possibility of extending global time-varying geomagnetic field models further back in time than the current 7 kyr interval.