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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.

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Garces, M, Gee JS.  2007.  Paleomagnetic evidence of large footwall rotations associated with low-angle faults at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Geology. 35:279-282.   10.1130/g23165a.1   AbstractWebsite

Exposures of gabbros and mantle-derived peridotites; at slow-spreading oceanic ridges have been attributed to extension on long-lived, low-angle detachment faults, similar to those described in continental metamorphic core complexes. In continental settings, such detachments have been interpreted as having originated and remained active at shallow dips. Alternatively, currently shallow dipping fault surfaces may have originated at moderate to steep dips and been flattened by subsequent flexure and isostatic uplift. While the latter interpretation would be more consistent with Andersonian faulting theory, it predicts large footwall tilts that have not been observed in continental detachment faults. Here we use the magnetization of oceanic gabbro and peridotite samples exposed near the Fifteen-Twenty Fracture Zone on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to demonstrate that substantial footwall rotations have occurred. Widespread rotations ranging from 50 degrees to 80 degrees indicate that original fault orientations dipped steeply toward the spreading axis.

Gee, J, Nakanishi M.  1995.  Magnetic petrology and magnetic properties of western Pacific guyots; implications for seamount paleopoles. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 144:615-630.   10.2973/odp.proc.sr.144.020.1995   Abstract

Despite the importance of seamount paleopoles in reconstructing past tectonic motions of the Pacific Plate, few data exist on the magnetic properties and processes of remanence acquisition in seamounts. We present a basic magnetic characterization and a detailed petrographic and microprobe study of the oxide minerals in mildly to strongly alkalic lavas recovered from five western Pacific guyots sampled during Ocean Drilling Program Leg 144. The Ti-rich chrome spinel compositions and Al- and Mg-enrich- ment in titanomagnetites reflect the alkalic nature of the lavas. The alteration history of these samples is diverse, ranging from low-temperature oxidation to highly oxidizing conditions resulting in an assemblage of magnesioferrite + titanohematite. The natural remanent magnetization (NRM) intensities for all five guyots are quite similar, yielding a combined arithmetic mean NRM intensity of 3.53 A/m, similar to previously reported values from dredged and drilled seamount material. The mean Königsberger ratio (9.8) implies an approximate 10% contribution of induced magnetization. Systematic discrepancies between the observed inclinations and inclinations derived from the magnetic anomaly data for Lo-En, MIT, and Takuyo-Daisan guyots are compatible with a significant bias from viscous and induced magnetization in these Cretaceous guyots.

Gee, J, Schneider DA, Kent DV.  1996.  Marine magnetic anomalies as recorders of geomagnetic intensity variations. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 144:327-335.   10.1016/s0012-821x(96)00184-7   AbstractWebsite

In addition to providing a robust record of past geomagnetic polarity reversals, marine magnetic anomalies often show shorter wavelength variations, which may provide information on geomagnetic intensity variations within intervals of constant polarity. To evaluate this possible geomagnetic signal, we compare sea surface profiles of the Central Anomaly with synthetic profiles based on Brunhes age (0-0.78 Ma) paleointensity records derived from deep sea sediments. The similarity of the synthetic profiles and observed profiles from the ultra-fast spreading southern East Pacific Rise suggests that geomagnetic intensity variations play an important role in the magnetization of the oceanic crust. This interpretation is further supported by systematic variations in the pattern of the Central Anomaly at slower spreading ridges, which are entirely consistent with a progressively smoother record of the sediment-derived paleointensity. If the sedimentary records, as calibrated to available absolute paleointensity data, accurately record variations in dipole intensity over the Brunhes, it follows that much of the Brunhes was characterized by geomagnetic intensities lower than either the mean dipole moment for the past 10 ka or the average for the period from 0.05 to 5.0 Ma. Furthermore, the sediment paleointensity records reflect the significant increase in geomagnetic intensity, from a low of similar to 2 x 10(22) Am-2 near 40 ka to a peak value (11 x 10(22) Am-2) at similar to 3 ka, that has been well documented from absolute paleointensity determinations, We suggest that geomagnetic intensity variations may be the most important cause of the rapid changes in the source layer magnetization near the ridge crest and the resultant Central Anomaly Magnetic High.

Gee, JS, Lawrence RM, Hurst SD.  1996.  Remanence characteristics of gabbros from the MARK area; implications for crustal magnetization. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 153:429-436.   10.2973/odp.proc.sr.153.042.1997   Abstract

Although the general concept of linear magnetic anomalies generated by seafloor spreading processes is well established, the details of the source distribution responsible for these anomalies remain uncertain. We summarize here magnetic properties from variably altered and deformed olivine gabbro, gabbro, and less abundant troctolite, gabbronorite, and oxide gabbros sam- pled at four sites drilled on the western median valley wall of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge south of the Kane Fracture Zone. The overall mean natural remanent magnetization (NRM) intensity (1.54 ± 2.6 A/m) and Koenigsberger ratio (8.05 ± 15.2) for these samples suggest that lower crustal gabbros are a significant contributor to marine magnetic anomalies. However, dual magnetic polarities were recorded at all four sites, with apparent polarity reversals sometimes occurring over spatial scales of tens of cen- timeters. Detailed demagnetization and rock magnetic studies of one such interval suggest that the complex remanence, dual polarities, and the occurrence of spurious well-defined magnetization components are related to production of magnetite during high-temperature alteration and/or cooling in periods of opposite polarity. These complexities, if generally applicable to oce- anic gabbros, may reduce the integrated contribution from the gabbroic layer to marine magnetic anomalies.

Granot, R, Tauxe L, Gee JS, Ron H.  2007.  A view into the Cretaceous geomagnetic field from analysis of gabbros and submarine glasses. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 256:1-11.   10.1016/j.epsl.2006.12.028   AbstractWebsite

The nature of the geomagnetic field during the Cretaceous normal polarity superchron (CNS) has been a matter of debate for several decades. Numerical geodynamo simulations predict higher intensities, but comparable variability, during times of few reversals than times with frequent reversals. Published geomagnetic paleointensity data from the CNS are highly scattered suggesting that additional studies are required. Here we present new paleointensity results from 18 sites collected from the lower oceanic crust of the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus (92.1 Ma old). Together with recently published data from the Troodos upper crust we obtain three independent palcointensity time-series. These sequences reveal quasi-cyclic variations of intensities about a mean value of 54 +/- 20 Z Am(2), providing insight into the fluctuating nature of the Cretaceous magnetic field. Our data suggest the CNS field was both weaker and more variable than predicted by geodynamo simulations. The large amplitudes of these variations may explain the wide range of dipole moments previously determined from the CNS. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Herbert, TD, Gee J, DiDonna S.  1999.  Precessional cycles in Upper Cretaceous pelagic sediments of the South Atlantic; long-term patterns from high-frequency climate variations. Special Paper Geological Society of America. 332:105-120. Abstract
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Hurst, SD, Gee JS, Lawrence RM.  1997.  Data report; Reorientation of structural features at sites 920 to 924 using remanent magnetization and magnetic characteristics. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 153:547-559.   10.2973/odp.proc.sr.153.040.1997   Abstract

Drilling at Ocean Drilling Program Sites 920 to 924 recovered core with a diverse set of pervasive structural elements. Site 920 recovered predominantly peridotitic rocks that display an early crystal-plastic fabric overprinted by at least five generations of veins. Sites 921 to 924 recovered gabbros that contain magmatic and metamorphic foliations and lineations developed to varying intensities throughout. Brittle features in the gabbro core include Cataclastic zones, faults, and several generations of veins. The characteristic magnetization direction was used to estimate the in situ orientation of structural features within the core. Although significant uncertainty is associated with the unknown effects of anisotropy and tectonic rotations on the rema- nent declinations, the corrected attitudes of the dominant foliations at Site 920 dip gently east-northeast, parallel to other obser- vations of seafloor structures in the area. Other vein generations and structural features in the rocks do not have a consistent orientation with respect to each other or a consistent variation with core depth. Sites 921-924 were drilled into a section of mostly gabbroic rocks that typically have complicated magnetic properties, with several remanence components identifiable during demagnetization. Reorientation of the gabbro cores is less certain because of the complexity of the remanent magnetiza- tion components, however, many structures in the gabbro from Hole 923A also seem to have gentle dips to the northeast after such a reorientation.

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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.

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Klootwijk, CT, Gee J, Smith GM, Pierce JW.  1991.  Constraints on the India-Asia convergence; paleomagnetic results from Ninetyeast Ridge. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 121:777-884.   10.2973/odp.proc.sr.121.121.1991   Abstract

This study details the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary northward movement of the Indian plate. Breaks in India's northward movement rate are identified, dated, and correlated with the evolution of the India-Asia convergence. Paleolatitudinal constraints on the origin of Ninetyeast Ridge are discussed, and limited magnetostratigraphic detail is provided.Nearly 1500 sediment and basement samples from Sites 756, 757, and 758 on Ninetyeast Ridge were studied through detailed alternating field and thermal demagnetization. Primary and various secondary magnetization components were identified. Breakpoint intervalsintheprimarypaleolatitudepatternforcommon-Site758wereidentified at2.7,6.7,18.5,about53,63.5-67,and68-74.5 Ma. Only the breakpoint interval at about 53 Ma reliably reflects a reduction in India's northward movement rate. The onset of this probably gradual slowdown was dated at 55 Ma (minimal age) based on the intersection of weighted linear regression lines. At the locationofcommon-Site758,northwardmovementslowedfrom 18-19.5cm/yr(fromatleast65to55Ma)to4.5cm/yr(from55 to at least 20 Ma). Reanalysis of earlier DSDP/ODP paleolatitude data from the Indian plate gives a comparable date (53 Ma) for this reduction in northward velocity.Comparison of our Ninetyeast Ridge data and Himalayan paleomagnetic data indicates that the initial contact of Greater India and Asia mayhave already been established by Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary time. The geological record of the convergence zone and the Indian plate supports the notion that the Deccan Traps extrusion may have resulted from the ensuing deformation of the Indian plate. W e interpret the breakpoint at 55+ Ma to reflect completion of the eastward progressive India-Asia suturing process.Neogene phases in the evolution of the convergence zone were correlated with significant changes in the susceptibility, NRM intensity, and lithostratigraphic profile of Site 758.These changes are interpreted to reflect and postdate tectonic phases in the evolutionofthewiderHimalayanandsouthernTibetanregion.Thechangesweredatedandinterpretedasfollows: 17.5Ma,initial uplift of the Higher Himalaya following initiation of intercontinental underthrusting; 10-10.4 Ma, increased uplift and onset of Middle Siwaliks sedimentation; 8.8 Ma, probable reduction in influx corresponding with the Nagri Formation to Dhok Pathan Formation changeover; 6.5 Ma, major tectonic phase evident throughout the wider Himalayan region and northern Indian Ocean; 5.1-5.4 Ma, onset of oroclinal bending of the Himalayan Arc,of extensional tectonism in southern Tibet, and of Upper Siwalik sedimentation; 2.5-2.7 and 1.9 Ma, major phases of uplift of the Himalayan and Tibetan region culminating in the present-day high relief.The basal ash sequence and upper flow sequence of Site 758 and the basal ash sequence of Site 757 indicate paleolatitudes at about 50°S. These support a Kerguelen hot spot origin for Ninetyeast Ridge. Consistently aberrant inclinations in the basalt sequence ofSite757mayberelatedtoasouthwardridgejumpataboutthetime(58Ma)thatthesebasaltswereerupted.Thebasalt sequence of Site 756 indicates a lower paleolatitude (about 43°S), as do parts of the basalt sequence of Site 758 which also have reversed polarity overprints. The low paleolatitudes for Site 756 may be explained by late-stage volcanism north of the Kerguelen hot spot or the influence of the Amsterdam-St. Paul hot spot.

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Marcuson, R, Gee J, Wei E, Driscoll N.  2019.  A 2000 year geomagnetic field record from the Gulf of Papua. Marine Geology. 408:48-66.   10.1016/j.margeo.2018.11.014   AbstractWebsite

A high resolution Holocene record of geomagnetic field direction and intensity in the Gulf of Papua was constructed using paleomagnetic data from eight piston cores collected in the region. The chronology of the cores was based largely on radiocarbon dates from benthic foraminifera. Correlation of seismic reflectors imaged in subbottom data between nearby cores was consistent with the chronostratigraphic framework based on radiocarbon dates and provided additional confidence of the age model. In other regions, where cores sampled different depositional settings associated with the three-dimensional prograding lobes, reflectors could not be confidently correlated between cores. Furthermore, radiocarbon ages from the bottoms of trigger cores and tops of co-located piston cores revealed varying amounts of overpenetration of the piston core below the seafloor. The relative paleointensity, and a general eastward trend in the declination and steepening of the inclination in our new record are generally compatible with the closest ( > 4300 km) existing records. Our record does not agree well with global field models CALS3k and pfm9k, likely reflecting the lack of existing data contributing to field models in the region.

Meurer, WP, Gee J.  2002.  Evidence for the protracted construction of slow-spread oceanic crust by small magmatic injections. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 201:45-55.   10.1016/s0012-821x(02)00660-x   AbstractWebsite

Gabbroic cumulates drilled south of the Kane Transform Fault on the slow-spread Mid-Atlantic Ridge preserve up to three discrete magnetization components. Here we use absolute age constraints derived from the paleomagnetic data to develop a model for the magmatic construction of this section of the lower oceanic crust. By comparing the paleomagnetic data with mineral compositions, and based on thermal models of local reheating, we infer that magmas that began crystallizing in the upper mantle intruded into the lower oceanic crust and formed meter-scale sills. Some of these magmas were crystal-laden and the subsequent expulsion of interstitial liquid from them produced 'cumulus' sills. These small-scale magmatic injections took place over at least 210 000 years and at distances of similar to3 km from the ridge axis and may have formed much of the lower crust. This model explains many of the complexities described in this area and can be used to help understand the general formation of oceanic crust at slow-spread ridges. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

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Pospichal, JJ, Dehn J, Driscoll N, van Eijden AJM, Farrell J, Fourtanier E, Gamson PD, Gee J, Janecek T, Jenkins GD, Klootwijk CT, Nomura R, Owen RM, Rea DK, Resiwati P, Smit J, Smith GM.  1991.  Cretaceous-Paleogene biomagnetostratigraphy of sites 752-755, Broken Ridge; a synthesis. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 121:721-742.   10.2973/odp.proc.sr.121.181.1991   Abstract

Broken Ridge, in the eastern Indian Ocean, is a shallow-water volcanic platform which formed during the Early to middle Cretaceous at which time it comprised the northern portion of the Kerguelen-Heard Plateau. Rifting during the middle Eocene and subsequent seafloor spreading has moved Broken Ridge about 20°N to its present location. The sedimentary section of Broken Ridge includes Turonian-lower Eocene limestone and chalk with volcanic ash, an interval of detrital sands and gravels associated with middle Eocene rifting and uplift, and a middle-late Oligocene unconformity overlain by a thin section of Neogene-Holocene pelagic calcareous ooze. This paper summarizes the available post-cruise biostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic data for the Cretaceous- Paleogene section on Broken Ridge. The synthesis of this information permits a more precise interpretation of the timing of events in the history of Broken Ridge, in particular the timing and duration of the middle Eocene rifting event. Paleontologic data support rapid flexural uplift of Broken Ridge in response to mechanical rather than thermal forces. Other highlights of the section include a complete Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary and an opportunity for first-order correlation of Paleogene diatom stratigraphy with that of the calcareous groups.

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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.

Smith, GM, Gee J, Klootwijk CT.  1991.  Magnetic petrology of basalts from Ninetyeast Ridge. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 121:525-545.   10.2973/odp.proc.sr.121.154.1991   Abstract

Given the importance of the inversion of seamount magnetic anomalies, particularly to the motion of the Pacific plate, it is important to gain a better understanding of the nature of the magnetic source of these features. Although different in detail, Ninetyeast Ridge is composed of submarine and subaerial igneous rocks that are similar to those found at many seamounts, making it a suitable proxy. We report here on the magnetic petrology of a collection of samples from Ninetyeast Ridge in the Indian Ocean. Our purpose is to determine the relationship between primary petrology, subsequent alteration, and magnetic properties of the recovered rocks. Such information will eventually lead to a more complete understanding of the magnetization of seamounts and presumably improvements in the accuracy of anomaly inversions. Three basement sites were drilled on Ninetyeast Ridge, with recovery of subaerial basalt flows at the first two (Sites 756 and 757) and submarine massive and pillow flows at the final one (Site 758). The three sites were distinctly different. Site 756 was dominated by ilmenite. What titanomagnetite was present had undergone deuteric alteration and secondary hematite was present in many samples. The magnetization was moderate and stable although it yielded a paleolatitude somewhat lower than expected. Site 757 was highly oxidized, presumably while above sea level. It was dominated by primary titanomagnetite, which was deuterically altered. Secondary hematite was common. Magnetization was relatively weak but quite stable. The paleolatitude for all but the lowermost flows was approximately 40° lower than expected. Site 758 was also dominated by primary titanomagnetite. There was relatively little oxidation with most primary titanomagnetite showing no evidence of high-temperature alteration. No secondary hematite was in evidence. This site had the highest magnetization of the three (although somewhat low relative to other seamounts) but was relatively unstable with significant viscous remanence in many samples. Paleolatitude was close to the expected value. It is not possible, at present, to confidently associate these rocks with specific locations in a seamount structure. A possible and highly speculative model would place rocks similar to Site 757 near the top of the edifice, Site 756 lower down but still erupted above sea level, and Site 758 underlying these units, erupted while the seamount was still below sea level.

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Tauxe, L, Gee JS, Steiner MB, Staudigel H.  2013.  Paleointensity results from the Jurassic: New constraints from submarine basaltic glasses of ODP Site 801C. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.   10.1002/2013GC004704   AbstractWebsite

Tholeiite of the oldest oceanic crust was drilled during ODP Legs 129 and 185 at Hole 801C in the western Pacific. Fresh appearing submarine basaltic glass (SBG) was recovered from the tholetiites (~167 Ma; Koppers et al. [2003]) which has been shown to be nearly ideal for determining absolute paleointensity. Paleointensities of the younger, off-axis, alkalic basalts (~160 Ma; Koppers et al. [2003]), overlying the tholeiites, had been studied earlier [Tauxe, 2006]. Here we report results from the older tholeiitic (on-axis) sequence. We subjected a total of 73 specimens from 17 cooling units to absolute paleointensity experiments. Of these, 30 specimens and 6 cooling unit averages met our strictest reliability criteria, yielding an average of 11.9± 3.9 μT. The bulk of evidence suggests a paleolatitude of the site of 14°S (with an uncertainty of 10°). This translates the intensity to a value for the virtual axial dipole moment of 28 ZAm2, slightly lower than values determined from the plagio clase crystals in the three cooling units of the younger alkalic basalts over lying the tholeiites. This value is low when compared to the long-term median value of the field of 42 ZAm2. Our results and those of the published literature therefore support the contention of a low magnetic field strength in the Jurassic (average of 28 ± 14 ZAm2; N = 138 individual estimates), as initially suggested by Prévot et al. [1990]. Our interpretation of the body of available data argue for low field strengths for the entire Jurassic extending into the early Cretaceous.

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Varga, RJ, Karson JA, Gee JS.  2004.  Paleomagnetic constraints on deformation models for uppermost oceanic crust exposed at the Hess Deep Rift: Implications for axial processes at the East Pacific Rise. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 109   10.1029/2003jb002486   AbstractWebsite

Studies of oceanic crust exposed in tectonic windows and in ophiolites have revealed the importance of normal faulting and attendant tilting of upper crustal rock units in the accretion process at oceanic spreading centers. We present paleomagnetic remanence data from 45 fully oriented samples from dikes, gabbros and a small number of basaltic lavas from fast spread crust exposed along the Hess Deep Rift. Over similar to25 km along this escarpment, dikes and dike-subparallel fault zones dip consistently away from the East Pacific Rise (EPR) while lava flows dip toward the ridge. Underlying gabbro is less deformed but contains widely spaced, low-angle fractures, tentatively interpreted as shear zones. As expected from the crustal age (similar to1.07-1.48 Ma), most remanence data indicate reversed polarity magnetization and are compatible with the expected range of secular variation at the site. Overly steep and directionally scattered gabbro remanence and observed low-angle shear structures within this unit are tentatively interpreted as the manifestation of three-dimensional strain along anastomosing shear zones. Although some remanence directions are incompatible with any plausible deformation history, and thus likely reflect orientation errors, the overall data set is consistent with a model involving sequential rotations on (1) outward dipping, EPR-parallel (similar toN-S) normal faults and (2) Hess Deep Rift-parallel (similar toE-W) normal faults Average rotations for these sequential events are 22degrees to the east (defined by the mean dike attitude) and 10degrees to the south (estimated by bathymetry), respectively. This model best explains the remanence data, observed dikes and lava orientations, presence of dike-parallel fault zones, and the observation of steep, little deformed dikes cutting both east dipping dikes and faults. The data support a structural model for spreading at the EPR in which outcrop-scale faulting and rotation is linked to subaxial subsidence and to consequent development of dominantly outward facing normal faults close to the spreading axis. Because these faults form within the neovolcanic zone, they are subject to burial and are expected to have subdued to little surface expression.