Publications

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2015
Kent, DV, Kjarsgaard BA, Gee JS, Muttoni G, Heaman LM.  2015.  Tracking the Late Jurassic apparent (or true) polar shift in U-Pb-dated kimberlites from cratonic North America (Superior Province of Canada). Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 16:983-994.   10.1002/2015gc005734   AbstractWebsite

Different versions of a composite apparent polar wander (APW) path of variably selected global poles assembled and averaged in North American coordinates using plate reconstructions show either a smooth progression or a large (approximate to 30 degrees) gap in mean paleopoles in the Late Jurassic, between about 160 and 145 Ma. In an effort to further examine this issue, we sampled accessible outcrops/subcrops of kimberlites associated with high-precision U-Pb perovskite ages in the Timiskaming area of Ontario, Canada. The 154.91.1 Ma Peddie kimberlite yields a stable normal polarity magnetization that is coaxial within less than 5 degrees of the reverse polarity magnetization of the 157.51.2 Ma Triple B kimberlite. The combined approximate to 156 Ma Triple B and Peddie pole (75.5 degrees N, 189.5 degrees E, A95=2.8 degrees) lies about midway between igneous poles from North America nearest in age (169 Ma Moat volcanics and the 146 Ma Ithaca kimberlites), showing that the polar motion was at a relatively steady yet rapid (approximate to 1.5 degrees/Myr) pace. A similar large rapid polar swing has been recognized in the Middle to Late Jurassic APW path for Adria-Africa and Iran-Eurasia, suggesting a major mass redistribution. One possibility is that slab breakoff and subduction reversal along the western margin of the Americas triggered an episode of true polar wander.

2012
Koppers, AAP, Yamazaki T, Geldmacher J, Gee JS, Pressling N, Hoshi H, Anderson L, Beier C, Buchs DM, Chen LH, Cohen BE, Deschamps F, Dorais MJ, Ebuna D, Ehmann S, Fitton JG, Fulton PM, Ganbat E, Hamelin C, Hanyu T, Kalnins L, Kell J, Machida S, Mahoney JJ, Moriya K, Nichols ARL, Rausch S, Sano SI, Sylvan JB, Williams R.  2012.  Limited latitudinal mantle plume motion for the Louisville hotspot. Nature Geoscience. 5:911-917.   10.1038/ngeo1638   AbstractWebsite

Hotspots that form above upwelling plumes of hot material from the deep mantle typically leave narrow trails of volcanic seamounts as a tectonic plate moves over their location. These seamount trails are excellent recorders of Earth's deep processes and allow us to untangle ancient mantle plume motions. During ascent it is likely that mantle plumes are pushed away from their vertical upwelling trajectories by mantle convection forces. It has been proposed that a large-scale lateral displacement, termed the mantle wind, existed in the Pacific between about 80 and 50 million years ago, and shifted the Hawaiian mantle plume southwards by about 15 degrees of latitude. Here we use Ar-40/Ar-39 age dating and palaeomagnetic inclination data from four seamounts associated with the Louisville hotspot in the South Pacific Ocean to show that this hotspot has been relatively stable in terms of its location. Specifically, the Louisville hotspot-the southern hemisphere counterpart of Hawai'i-has remained within 3-5 degrees of its present-day latitude of about 51 degrees S between 70 and 50 million years ago. Although we cannot exclude a more significant southward motion before that time, we suggest that the Louisville and Hawaiian hotspots are moving independently, and not as part of a large-scale mantle wind in the Pacific.

2011
Horst, AJ, Varga RJ, Gee JS, Karson JA.  2011.  Paleomagnetic constraints on deformation of superfast-spread oceanic crust exposed at Pito Deep Rift. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 116   10.1029/2011jb008268   AbstractWebsite

The uppermost oceanic crust produced at the superfast spreading (similar to 142 km Ma(-1), full-spreading rate) southern East Pacific Rise (EPR) during the Gauss Chron is exposed in a tectonic window along the northeastern wall of the Pito Deep Rift. Paleomagnetic analysis of fully oriented dike (62) and gabbro (5) samples from two adjacent study areas yield bootstrapped mean remanence directions of 38.9 degrees +/- 8.1 degrees, -16.7 degrees +/- 15.6 degrees, n = 23 (Area A) and 30.4 degrees +/- 8.0 degrees, -25.1 degrees +/- 12.9 degrees, n = 44 (Area B), both are significantly distinct from the Geocentric Axial Dipole expected direction at 23 degrees S. Regional tectonics and outcrop-scale structural data combined with bootstrapped remanence directions constrain models that involve a sequence of three rotations that result in dikes restored to subvertical orientations related to (1) inward-tilting of crustal blocks during spreading (Area A = 11 degrees, Area B = 22 degrees), (2) clockwise, vertical-axis rotation of the Easter Microplate (A = 46 degrees, B = 44 degrees), and (3) block tilting at Pito Deep Rift (A = 21 degrees, B = 10 degrees). These data support a structural model for accretion at the southern EPR in which outcrop-scale faulting and block rotation accommodates spreading-related subaxial subsidence that is generally less than that observed in crust generated at a fast spreading rate exposed at Hess Deep Rift. These data also support previous estimates for the clockwise rotation of crust adjacent to the Easter Microplate. Dike sample natural remanent magnetization (NRM) has an arithmetic mean of 5.96 A/m +/- 3.76, which suggests that they significantly contribute to observed magnetic anomalies from fast- to superfast-spread crust.

2008
Selkin, PA, Gee JS, Meurer WP, Hemming SR.  2008.  Paleointensity record from the 2.7 Ga Stillwater Complex, Montana. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 9   10.1029/2008gc001950   AbstractWebsite

The record of geomagnetic intensity captured in the 2.7 Ga Stillwater Complex (Montana, USA) provides a statistical description of the Archean geodynamo. We present results of modified Thellier paleointensity experiments on 441 core specimens, 114 of which pass strict reliability criteria. The specimens are from 53 sites spanning most of the Banded Series rocks in the Stillwater Complex. On the basis of thermochronologic and petrologic evidence, we interpret the highest temperature component of remanence to be a late Archean thermoremanence, though the possibility remains that it is a thermochemical remanence. Thermal models indicate that the highest temperature magnetization component at each of the sites averages similar to 20-200 ka of geomagnetic secular variation. The suite of sites as distributed through the Banded Series samples a roughly a 1 Ma time interval. The average of the most reliable paleointensity measurements, uncorrected for the effects of anisotropy or cooling rate, is 38.2 +/- 11.3 mu T (1 sigma). Remanence anisotropy, cooling rate, and the nonlinear relationship between applied field and thermoremanence have a significant effect on paleointensity results; a corrected average of 30.6 +/- 8.8 mu T is likely a more appropriate value. Earth's average dipole moment during the late Archean (5.05 +/- 1.46 x 10(22) Am(2), lambda(pmag) = 44.5 degrees) was well within the range of estimates from Phanerozoic rocks. The distribution of site-mean paleointensities around the mean is consistent with that expected from slow cooling over timescales expected from thermal models and with secular variation comparable to that of the Phanerozoic field.

2007
Selkin, PA, Gee JS, Tauxe L.  2007.  Nonlinear thermoremanence acquisition and implications for paleointensity data. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 256:81-89.   10.1016/j.epsl.2007.01.017   AbstractWebsite

In paleointensity studies, thermoremanence is generally regarded as a linear function of ambient inagnetic field at low fields comparable to that of the present-day Earth. We find pronounced nonlinearity at low fields for a class of materials with silicate-hosted magnetite that otherwise perforin well in paleointensity experiments. We model this nonlinearity with narrow size ranges of large, acicular single domain grains, which are most likely in a vortex state (i.e. nonuniformly magnetized, sometimes labeled pseudosingle domain). Simple TRM theory predicts that even certain single domain particles will also exhibit a nonlinear response, saturating in fields as low as the Earth's. Such behavior, although likely to be rare, may bias some paleointensity estimates. The bias is especially pronounced when the laboratory field is higher than the ancient field. Fortunately, the fundamental assumption that thermoremanence is proportional to applied field can (and should) be routinely checked at the end of successful paleointensity experiments by adding two extra heating steps. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

2002
Bowles, J, Gee J, Hildebrand J, Tauxe L.  2002.  Archaeomagnetic intensity results from California and Ecuador: evaluation of regional data. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 203:967-981.   10.1016/s0012-821x(02)00927-5   AbstractWebsite

We present new archaeointensity data for southeastern California (similar to33degreesN, similar to115degreesW, 50-1500 yr BP) and northwestern South America (Ecuador, 2.4degreesS, 80.7degreesW, 4000-5000 yr BP). These results represent the only data from California, as well as the oldest archaeointensity data now available in northwestern South America. In comparing our results to previously published data for the southwestern United States and northwestern South America, we note that significant scatter in the existing data makes comparisons and interpretations difficult. We undertake an analysis of the sources of data scatter (including age uncertainty, experimental errors, cooling rate differences, magnetic anisotropy, and field distortion) and evaluate the effects of scatter and error on the smoothed archaeointensity record. By making corrections where possible and eliminating questionable data, scatter is significantly reduced, especially in South America, but is far from eliminated. However, we believe the long-period fluctuations in intensity can be resolved, and differences between the Southwestern and South American records can be identified. The Southwest data are distinguished from the South American data by much higher virtual axial dipole moment values from similar to 0-600 yr BP and by a broad low between similar to 1000-1500 yr BP. Comparisons to global paleofield models reveal disagreements between the models and the archaeointensity data in these two regions, underscoring the need for additional intensity data to constrain the models in much of the world. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

2000
Selkin, PA, Gee JS, Tauxe L, Meurer WP, Newell AJ.  2000.  The effect of remanence anisotropy on paleointensity estimates: a case study from the Archean Stillwater Complex. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 183:403-416.   10.1016/s0012-821x(00)00292-2   AbstractWebsite

Paleomagnetism of Archean rocks potentially provides information about the early development of the Earth and of the geodynamo. Precambrian layered intrusive rocks are good candidates for paleomagnetic studies: such complexes are commonly relatively unaltered and may contain some single-domain magnetite 'armored' by silicate mineral grains. However, layered intrusives often have a strong petrofabric that may result in a strong remanence anisotropy. Magnetic anisotropy can have particularly disastrous consequences for paleointensity experiments if the anisotropy is unrecognized and if its effects remain uncorrected. Here we examine the magnetic anisotropy of an anorthosite sample with a well-developed magmatic foliation. The effect of the sample's remanence fabric on paleointensity determinations is significant: paleointensities estimated by the method of Thellier and Thellier range from 17 to 55 muT for specimens magnetized in a field of 25 muT. We describe a technique based on the remanence anisotropy tensor to correct paleointensity estimates for the effects of magnetic fabric and use it to estimate a paleointensity for the Stillwater Complex (MT, USA) of similar to 32 muT (adjusted for the effects of slow cooling). (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

1998
Johnson, CL, Wijbrans JR, Constable CG, Gee J, Staudigel H, Tauxe L, Forjaz VH, Salgueiro M.  1998.  Ar-40/Ar-39 ages and paleomagnetism of Sao Miguel lavas, Azores. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 160:637-649.   10.1016/s0012-821x(98)00117-4   AbstractWebsite

We present new Ar-40/Ar-39 ages and paleomagnetic data for Sao Miguel island, Azores. Paleomagnetic samples were obtained for 34 flows and one dike; successful mean paleomagnetic directions were obtained for 28 of these 35 sites. Ar-40/Ar-39 age determinations on 12 flows from the Nordeste complex were attempted successfully: ages obtained are between 0.78 Ma and 0.88 Ma, in contrast to published K-Ar ages of 1 Ma to 4 Ma. Our radiometric ages are consistent with the reverse polarity paleomagnetic field directions, and indicate that the entire exposed part of the Nordeste complex is of a late Matuyama age. The duration of volcanism across Sao Miguel is significantly less than previously believed, which has important implications for regional melt generation processes, and temporal sampling of the geomagnetic field. Observed stable isotope and trace element trends across the island can be explained, at least in part, by communication between different magma source regions at depth. The Ar-40/Ar-39 ages indicate that our normal polarity paleomagnetic data sample at least 0.1 Myr (0-0.1 Ma) and up to 0.78 Myr (0-0.78 Ma) of paleosecular variation and our reverse polarity data sample approximately 0.1 Myr (0.78-0.88 Ma) of paleosecular variation. Our results demonstrate that precise radiometric dating of numerous flows sampled is essential to accurate inferences of long-term geomagnetic field behavior. Negative inclination anomalies are observed for both the normal and reverse polarity time-averaged field. Within the data uncertainties, normal and reverse polarity field directions are antipodal, but the reverse polarity field shows a significant deviation from a geocentric axial dipole direction. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.