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Tauxe, L.  2010.  Essentials of paleomagnetism. :xvi,489p.., Berkeley: University of California Press Abstract
Mitra, R, Tauxe L.  2009.  Full vector model for magnetization in sediments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 286:535-545.   10.1016/j.epsl.2009.07.019   AbstractWebsite

Sediments provide a continuous record of past geomagnetic field variations. Although it is theoretically possible to get both the direction and intensity of the geomagnetic field from sediment records the, mechanism is not fully understood. Previous workers have postulated that flocculation plays an important role in detrital remanent magnetism (DRM). Flocs are porous, loose and highly fragile aggregates of microscopic clay particles and their behavior in a viscous medium is likely to be different than single particles of magnetic minerals. In order to understand the role of flocculation in sediment magnetization, we carried out a set of redeposition experiments at different field intensities and a quasi-constant field inclination of 45 degrees. We present here a simple numerical model of flocculation, incorporating both magnetic and hydrodynamic torques to explain the experimental data. At small floc sizes DRM acquisition is likely to be non-linear in field strengths comparable to the Earth's, but the sediments may be able to record the directions accurately. With increasing floc sizes sediments may retain a record of the intensity that is linearly related to the applied field or a direction parallel to the applied field, but are unlikely to do both at the same time. Also, the majority of the magnetic particles in the sediments may not be contributing significantly towards the net DRM and any bulk normalizing parameter may be unsuitable if the depositional environment has changed over the depositional period. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Ben-Yosef, E, Tauxe L, Levy TE, Shaar R, Ron H, Najjar M.  2009.  Geomagnetic intensity spike recorded in high resolution slag deposit in Southern Jordan. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 287:529-539.   10.1016/j.epsl.2009.09.001   AbstractWebsite

In paleomagnetism, periods of high field intensity have been largely ignored in favor of the more spectacular directional changes associated with low field intensity periods of excursions and reversals. Hence, questions such as how strong the field can get and how fast changes occur are still open. In this paper we report on data obtained from an archaeometallurgical excavation in the Middle East, designed specifically for archaeomagnetic sampling. We measured 342 specimens from 72 samples collected from a 6.1 m mound of well stratified copper production debris at the early Iron Age (12th-9th centuries BCE) site of Khirbat en-Nahas in Southern Jordan. Seventeen samples spanning 200 yr yielded excellent archaeointensity results that demonstrate rapid changes in field intensity in a period of overall high field values. The results display a remarkable spike in field strength, with sample mean values of over 120 mu T (compared to the current field strength of 44 mu T). A suite of 13 radiocarbon dates intimately associated with our samples, tight control of sample location and relative stratigraphy provide tight constraints on the rate and magnitude of changes in archaeomagnetic field intensities. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Tauxe, L, Kodama KP.  2009.  Paleosecular variation models for ancient times: Clues from Keweenawan lava flows. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 177:31-45.   10.1016/j.pepi.2009.07.006   AbstractWebsite

Statistical paleosecular variation models predict distributions of paleomagnetic vectors as a function of geographic position. Such models have been used in a variety of applications that test whether a given data set fairly represents the variability and average properties of the geomagnetic field. The simple relationship between inclination of the geo magnetic field and latitude predicted by geocentric axial dipole (GAD) models has been a cornerstone for plate reconstructions for decades, yet many data sets exhibit a tendency to be shallower than expected for a dominantly axial geocentric magnetic field. Too shallow inclinations have variously been interpreted as plate motion, permanent non-dipole field components or bias in inclination from sedimentary processes. Statistical PSV models could in principle be used to resolve the cause of inclination anomalies because there is a simple relationship between the elongation of the distribution of directions in the vertical plane and the average inclination. Shallowing of inclinations from sedimentary processes results in a progressive transformation of the elongation direction in the vertical plane containing the average direction into a pronounced elongation in the plane perpendicular to that. However, the applicability of statistical models based on the last 5 million years for more ancient times is an open question. Here we present new data from the Keeweenawan North Shore Volcanics (similar to 1.1 Ga). These data are consistent with statistical PSV model predictions and are less well fit by models that include a 20% axial octupole component. We also find evidence for a pervasive overprinting by hematite in a shallower direction and find support for the contention that the asymmetric reversal(s) observed in Keweenawan aged rocks along the North shore of Lake Superior can be explained as an age progression, with the reverse directions being older than the normal directions. Finally, we re-consider implications from an analysis of inclinations from the Global Paleomagnetic Database for the Paleozoic and Pre-Cambrian. We find that the data are inconsistent with a random sampling of any simple geomagnetic field model and conclude that the data set under-samples the field in a spatial sense. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lawrence, KP, Tauxe L, Staudigel H, Constable CG, Koppers A, McIntosh W, Johnson CL.  2009.  Paleomagnetic field properties at high southern latitude. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 10   10.1029/2008gc002072   AbstractWebsite

Statistical analyses of paleomagnetic data from lava flows are used to study geomagnetic field behavior on million year timescales. Previous paleomagnetic studies have lacked high-latitude measurements necessary to investigate the persistence of geomagnetic anomalies observed in the recent and historical field and replicated in some numerical geodynamo simulations. These simulations suggest that reduced convective flow inside the tangent cylinder may affect the magnetic field at high latitude, whereas lower-latitude observations are expressions of columnar/helical flow outside the tangent cylinder. This paper presents new paleointensity and paleodirectional data from 100 volcanic sites in the Erebus Volcanic Province (EVP), Antarctica, and 21 new age determinations by the (40)Ar/(39)Ar incremental heating method. The new EVP data are combined with previously published paleomagnetic and geochronological results, providing 133 sites, 91 having radioisotopic dates. Modified Thellier-Thellier paleointensity estimates are reported for 47 sites (37 have dates). Ages for the combined data set span 0.03 to 13.42 Ma. The 125 high-quality EVP directional data selected from the merged data set have a non-Fisherian distribution and a mean direction with an inclination anomaly of similar to 3 degrees, but 95% confidence limits include the prediction from a geocentric axial dipole. Virtual geomagnetic pole (VGP) dispersions for Brunhes, Matuyama, and the combined 0-5 Ma data set are consistently high compared with values from middle-to low-latitude regions regardless of the criterion used to determine transitional fields. With VGP latitude cut off at 45 degrees, the dispersion (23.9 +/-2.1 degrees) for the combined 0-5 Ma EVP data set is consistent with earlier high-latitude data and paleosecular variation (PSV) in Model G but not with some more recent statistical PSV models. Mean EVP paleointensity of 31.5 +/-2.4 mu T, derived from 41 high-quality sites, is about half the current value at McMurdo (similar to 63 mu T). The result is essentially independent of data selection criteria. High VGP dispersion and low-intensity values support the global observation of anticorrelation between directional variability and field strength. Simulations of time-varying dipole strength show that uneven temporal sampling may bias the mean EVP intensity estimate, but the possibility of persistently anomalous field behavior at high latitude cannot be excluded.

Sbarbori, E, Tauxe L, Goguitchaichvili A, Urrutia-Fucugauchi J, Bohrson WA.  2009.  Paleomagnetic behavior of volcanic rocks from Isla Socorro, Mexico. Earth Planets and Space. 61:191-204. AbstractWebsite

The direction and magnitude of the geomagnetic field vary both spatially and temporally and undergo significant departures from that of a geocentric axial dipole. In order to properly characterize persistent behaviors, time-averaged field models must be based oil the highest quality data. Here we present full-vector paleomagnetic data for volcanic units exposed in the southeast quadrant of the island of Socorro, Mexico. We carried out a joint expedition between the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma Mexico to Isla Socorro in January of 2005 during which we collected oriented paleomagnetic samples from 21 sites, representing as many as 10 different volcanic units (the oldest of which is similar to 540 ka). We subjected over 100 specimens to the most up-to-date paleointensity methods, and included the standard reliability checks. In all earlier study, Bohrson et al. (1996) proposed a series of widespread eruptive events, based on similarities of argon/argon dates. Paleointensity from specimens that conform to the strictest acceptance criteria are available from both the (unoriented) original sample collection and our fully oriented (but as yet undated) new collection. Correlation between the two collections is however problematic. The time-averaged direction from Socorro is consistent with that expected from a geocentric axial dipole, and the time-averaged intensity is 30.0 +/- 7.1 mu T, equivalent to a virtual axial dipole moment (VADM) of 67.6 +/- 16.0 ZAm(2).

Levy, TE, Higham T, Ramsey CB, Smith NG, Ben-Yosef E, Robinson M, Munger S, Knabb K, Schulze JP, Najjar M, Tauxe L.  2008.  High-precision radiocarbon dating and historical biblical archaeology in southern Jordan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 105:16460-16465.   10.1073/pnas.0804950105   AbstractWebsite

Recent excavations and high-precision radiocarbon dating from the largest Iron Age (IA, ca. 1200-500 BCE) copper production center in the southern Levant demonstrate major smelting activities in the region of biblical Edom (southern Jordan) during the loth and 9th centuries BCE. Stratified radiocarbon samples and artifacts were recorded with precise digital surveying tools linked to a geographic information system developed to control on-site spatial analyses of archaeological finds and model data with innovative visualization tools. The new radiocarbon dates push back by 2 centuries the accepted IA chronology of Edom. Data from Khirbat en-Nahas, and the nearby site of Rujm Hamra Ifdan, demonstrate the centrality of industrial-scale metal production during those centuries traditionally linked closely to political events in Edom's loth century BCE neighbor ancient Israel. Consequently, the rise of IA Edom is linked to the power vacuum created by the collapse of Late Bronze Age (LB, ca. 1300 BCE) civilizations and the disintegration of the LB Cypriot copper monopoly that dominated the eastern Mediterranean. The methodologies applied to the historical IA archaeology of the Levant have implications for other parts of the world where sacred and historical texts interface with the material record.

Ben-Yosef, E, Tauxe L, Ron H, Agnon A, Avner U, Najjar M, Levy TE.  2008.  A new approach for geomagnetic archaeointensity research: insights on ancient metallurgy in the Southern Levant. Journal of Archaeological Science. 35:2863-2879.   10.1016/j.jas.2008.05.016   AbstractWebsite

We present results from an archaeointensity investigation based on a relatively unexploited recording medium, copper slag deposits. Together with a recently improved experimental design for the archaeointensity experiment, we demonstrate the applicability of this medium, as well as other archaeometallurgical artifacts, for the study of the ancient geomagnetic field intensity. In addition to archaeointensity data from well-dated archaeological contexts, we obtained reliable archaeointensity results from poorly dated or contentious archaeometallurgical sites in the Southern Levant. These results shed new light on the dating of these sites, among them the copper smelting installation of Timna 39b a site that has important implications for the beginning of metallurgy during the fifth millennium BCE. The paper also aims to introduce archaeointensity research to the archaeologist scholar, and to encourage further collaboration between the disciplines in future research. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lawrence, K, Johnson C, Tauxe L, Gee J.  2008.  Lunar paleointensity measurements: Implications for lunar magnetic evolution. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 168:71-87.   10.1016/j.pepi.2008.05.007   AbstractWebsite

We analyze published and new paleointensity data from Apollo samples to reexamine the hypothesis of an early (3.9-3.6 Ga) lunar dynamo. Our new paleointensity experiments on four samples use modern absolute and relative measurement techniques, with ages ranging from 3.3 to 4.3 Ga, bracketing the putative period of an ancient lunar field. Samples 60015 (anorthosite) and 76535 (troctolite) failed during absolute paleointensity experiments. Samples 72215 and 62235 (impact breccias) recorded a complicated, multicomponent magnetic history that includes a low-temperature (< 500 degrees C) component associated with a high intensity (similar to 90 mu T) and a high temperature (> 500 degrees C) component associated with a low intensity (2 [LT). Similar multi-component behavior has been observed in several published absolute intensity experiments on lunar samples. Additional material from 72215 and 62235 was subjected to a relative paleointensity experiment (a saturation isothermal remanent magnetization, or sIRM, experiment); neither sample Provided unambiguous evidence for a thermal origin of the recorded remanent magnetization. We test several magnetization scenarios in an attempt to explain the complex magnetization recorded in lunar samples. Specifically, an overprint from exposure to a small magnetic field (an isothermal remanent magnetization) results in multi-component behavior (similar to absolute paleointensity results) from which we could not recover the correct magnitude of the original thermal remanent magnetization. In light of these new experiments and a thorough re-evaluation of existing paleointensity measurements, we conclude that although some samples with ages of 3.6 to 3.9 Ga are strongly magnetized, and sometimes exhibit stable directional behavior, it has not been demonstrated that these observations indicate a primary thermal remanence. Particularly problematic in the interpretation of lunar sample magnetizations are the effects of shock. As relative paleointensity measurements for lunar samples are calibrated using absolute paleointensities, the lack of acceptable absolute paleointensity measurements renders the interpretation of relative paleointensity measurements unreliable. Consequently, current paleointensity measurements do not support the existence of a 3.9-3.6 Ga lunar dynamo with 100 mu T surface fields, a result that is in better agreement with satellite measurements of crustal magnetism and that presents fewer challenges for thermal evolution and dynamo models. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Gee, JS, Tauxe L, Constable C.  2008.  AMSSpin: A LabVIEW program for measuring the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility with the Kappabridge KLY-4S. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 9   10.1029/2008gc001976   AbstractWebsite

Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) data are widely used as a petrofabric tool because the technique is rapid and nondestructive and because static measurement systems are capable of determining small degrees of anisotropy. The Kappabridge KLY-4S provides high resolution as a result of the large number of measurements acquired while rotating the sample about three orthogonal axes. Here we describe a graphical-based program called AMSSpin for acquiring AMS data with this instrument as well as a modified specimen holder that should further enhance the utility of this instrument. We also outline a method for analysis of the data (that differs in several ways from that of the software supplied with the instrument) and demonstrate that the measurement errors are suitable for using linear perturbation analysis to statistically characterize the results. Differences in the susceptibility tensors determined by our new program and the SUFAR program supplied with the instrument are small, typically less than or comparable to deviations between multiple measurements of the same specimen.

Ben-Yosef, E, Ron H, Tauxe L, Agnon A, Genevey A, Levy TE, Avner U, Najjar M.  2008.  Application of copper slag in geomagnetic archaeointensity research. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 113   10.1029/2007jb005235   AbstractWebsite

Paleointensity and archaeointensity studies since the 1950s have produced numerous geomagnetic intensity data for the last seven millennia. As a consequence of different experiments and materials, there is a complex and internally inconsistent picture of the geomagnetic field behavior. In this study we present data using a recently developed experimental design on a heretofore unexploited recording medium: copper slag deposits. Our results, based on hundreds of specimens from various archaeometallurgical sites of the Southern Levant, demonstrate the applicability of copper slag material for archaeointensity studies. In addition to frequently exhibiting good experimental behavior, slag has further advantages such as dense multilayer deposits and in cases embedded charcoals, which open the door to data sets with excellent age control and resolution. The data presented here augment the high quality database from the Middle East and support previously observed periods of rapid change of the intensity of the geomagnetic field.

Yu, Y, Tauxe L.  2008.  Micromagnetic models of the effect of particle shape on magnetic hysteresis. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 169:92-99.   10.1016/j.pepi.2008.07.006   AbstractWebsite

Direct calibration of magnetic hysteresis with grain size is of particular interest for submicron particles. In the present study, we numerically tested the effect of particle shape (grain morphology and aspect ratio) on magnetic hysteresis of stress-free Fe3O4. We found that the particle shape has a profound effect on hysteresis behavior. In particular, for particles with grain width >120 nm, octahedra (and tetragonally terminated prisms) showed higher coercivity and squareness than cubes (and rectangular parallelepipeds) due to an inherent geometric advantage. The results from micromagnetic calculations and experimental observations are somewhat mismatching. It is likely that stress-free Fe3O4 used in hysteresis experiments were not entirely stress-free or the grain size of stress-free Fe3O4 was overestimated on using two-dimensional images of three-dimensional objects. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Tauxe, L, Kodama KP, Kent DV.  2008.  Testing corrections for paleomagnetic inclination error in sedimentary rocks: A comparative approach. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 169:152-165.   10.1016/j.pepi.2008.05.006   AbstractWebsite

Paleomagnetic inclinations in sedimentary formations are frequently suspected of being too shallow. Recognition and correction of shallow bias is therefore critical for paleogeographical reconstructions. This paper tests the reliability of the elongation/inclination (E/I) correction method in several ways. First we consider the E/I trends predicted by various PSV models. We explored the role of sample size on the reliability of the E/I estimates and found that for data sets smaller than similar to 100-150, the results were less reliable. The Giant Gaussian Process-type paleosecular variation models were all constrained by paleomagnetic data from lava flows of the last five million years. Therefore, to test whether the method can be used in more ancient times, we compare model predictions of E/I trends with observations from five Large Igneous Provinces since the early Cretaceous (Yemen, Kerguelen, Faroe Islands, Deccan and Parana basalts). All data are consistent at the 95% level of confidence with the E/I trends predicted by the paleosecular variation models. The Parana data set also illustrated the effect of unrecognized tilting and combining data over a large latitudinal spread on the E/I estimates underscoring the necessity of adhering to the two principle assumptions of the method. Then we discuss the geological implications of various applications of the E/I method. In general the E/I corrected data are more consistent with data from contemporaneous lavas, with predictions from the well constrained synthetic apparent polar wander paths, and other geological constraints. Finally, we compare the E/I corrections with corrections from an entirely different method of inclination correction: the anisotropy of remanence method of Jackson et at. [Jackson, M.J., Banerjee, S.K., Marvin, J.A., Lu, R., Gruber, W., 1991. Detrital remanence, inclination errors and anhysteretic remanence anisotropy: quantitative model and experimental results. Geophys. J. Int. 104, 95-103] which relies on measurement of remanence and particle anisotropies of the sediments. In the two cases where a direct comparison can be made, the two methods give corrections that are consistent within error. In summary, it appears that the Ell method for recognizing and corrected the effects of sedimentary flattening is reasonably robust for at least the Mesozoic and Cenozoic when the source of scatter is geomagnetic and sedimentary flattening in origin. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

He, HY, Pan YX, Tauxe L, Qin HF, Zhu RX.  2008.  Toward age determination of the M0r (Barremian-Aptian boundary) of the Early Cretaceous. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 169:41-48.   10.1016/j.pepi.2008.07.014   AbstractWebsite

We carried out integrated paleomagnetic and geochronologic investigations on Cretaceous lava flows at the Mashenmiao-Zhuanchengzi (MZ) section in Yixian, Liaoning Province, northeast China in seeking to understand the onset of the magnetic polarity chron M0r and the associated Barremian-Aptian boundary (BAB), which has been reported to be 125.0 +/- 1.0 Ma [Ogg, J.G., Agternerg, F.P., Gradstein, F.M., 2004. The Cretaceous period. In: Gradstein, F.M., Ogg, J.G., Smith, A.G. (Eds.). A Geologic Time Scale. Cambridge University Press, UK, pp. 344-383]. Stepwise thermal or alternating field demagnetization indicates that all lava flows in the studied section were reversely magnetized. Ar-40/Ar-39 ages obtained from three lava flows are 121.2 +/- 1.3 Ma, 120.2 +/- 1.5 Ma and 122.0 +/- 13 Ma, respectively, with a weighted mean age of 121.2 +/- 0.5 Ma (2 sigma). In combination with previous studies, we argue that these lavas are M0r in age, which therefore is probably some 4 Myr younger than estimated in the 125 Ma of the most recent geologic time scale. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Johnson, CL, Constable CG, Tauxe L, Barendregt R, Brown LL, Coe RS, Layer P, Mejia V, Opdyke ND, Singer BS, Staudigel H, Stone DB.  2008.  Recent investigations of the 0-5 Ma geomagnetic field recorded by lava flows. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 9   10.1029/2007gc001696   AbstractWebsite

We present a synthesis of 0 - 5 Ma paleomagnetic directional data collected from 17 different locations under the collaborative Time Averaged geomagnetic Field Initiative ( TAFI). When combined with regional compilations from the northwest United States, the southwest United States, Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii, Mexico, South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean, a data set of over 2000 sites with high quality, stable polarity, and declination and inclination measurements is obtained. This is a more than sevenfold increase over similar quality data in the existing Paleosecular Variation of Recent Lavas (PSVRL) data set, and has greatly improved spatial sampling. The new data set spans 78 degrees S to 53 degrees N, and has sufficient temporal and spatial sampling to allow characterization of latitudinal variations in the time-averaged field (TAF) and paleosecular variation (PSV) for the Brunhes and Matuyama chrons, and for the 0 - 5 Ma interval combined. The Brunhes and Matuyama chrons exhibit different TAF geometries, notably smaller departures from a geocentric axial dipole field during the Brunhes, consistent with higher dipole strength observed from paleointensity data. Geographical variations in PSV are also different for the Brunhes and Matuyama. Given the high quality of our data set, polarity asymmetries in PSV and the TAF cannot be attributed to viscous overprints, but suggest different underlying field behavior, perhaps related to the influence of long-lived core-mantle boundary conditions on core flow. PSV, as measured by dispersion of virtual geomagnetic poles, shows less latitudinal variation than predicted by current statistical PSV models, or by previous data sets. In particular, the Brunhes data reported here are compatible with a wide range of models, from those that predict constant dispersion as a function of latitude to those that predict an increase in dispersion with latitude. Discriminating among such models could be helped by increased numbers of low-latitude data and new high northern latitude sites. Tests with other data sets, and with simulations, indicate that some of the latitudinal signature previously observed in VGP dispersion can be attributed to the inclusion of low-quality, insufficiently cleaned data with too few samples per site. Our Matuyama data show a stronger dependence of dispersion on latitude than the Brunhes data. The TAF is examined using the variation of inclination anomaly with latitude. Best fit two- parameter models have axial quadrupole contributions of 2 - 4% of the axial dipole term, and axial octupole contributions of 1 - 5%. Approximately 2% of the octupole signature is likely the result of bias incurred by averaging unit vectors.

Schwehr, K, Driscoll N, Tauxe L.  2007.  Origin of continental margin morphology: Submarine-slide or downslope current-controlled bedforms, a rock magnetic approach. Marine Geology. 240:19-41.   10.1016/j.margeo.2007.01.012   AbstractWebsite

Morphological features observed in both swath bathymetry and seismic reflection data are not unique, which introduces uncertainty as to their origin. The origin of features observed in the Humboldt Slide has generated much controversy because the same features have been interpreted as a submarine failure deposit versus current-controlled sediment waves. It is important to resolve this controversy because similar structures are observed on many continental margins and the origin of these features needs to be understood. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) measurements on sediment samples acquired from the Humboldt Slide reveal that the top similar to 8 m have not experienced post-depositional deformation. This suggests that these features are formed by primary deposition associated with downslope currents. Using the same AMS technique on a core acquired north of the Humboldt Slide in a region with no geophysical evidence for post-depositional deformation, we were able to identify a similar to 1 m thick deposit that appears to be a small slump. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Yu, YJ, Tauxe L, Gee JS.  2007.  A linear field dependence of thermoremanence in low magnetic fields. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 162:244-248.   10.1016/j.pepi.2007.04.008   AbstractWebsite

We tested a linear field-dependence of thermoremanent magnetization (TRM) to saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM) ratio for magnetite-containing natural samples. The TRM/SIRM shows a linear field-dependence to very low field ranges (<1 mu T). This observation is at odds with a claim of limited sensitivity at low fields in TRM acquisition documented in previous studies. We attribute the difference to poor field control in the ovens used in previous studies. The TRM/SIRM ratio shows a grain-size dependence. For magnetite-containing samples with insignificant anisotropy, the TRM/SIRM is most efficient in pseudo-single-domain magnetites. These results suggest that while the TRM/SIRM ratio is linear at low field strengths, the ratio provides only a crude estimation on the actual paleo-field within two orders of magnitude, suggesting that a careful sample characterization is necessary in applying the TRM/SIRM as a paleointensity proxy. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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.

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.

Tauxe, L, Yamazaki T.  2007.  Paleointensities . Geomagnetism in the Treatise on geophysics. 5( Schubert G, Ed.).:509-564.: Oxford-Elsevier Ltd Abstract
Yu, YJ, Tauxe L.  2006.  Acquisition of viscous remanent magnetization. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 159:32-42.   10.1016/j.pepi.2006.05.002   AbstractWebsite

Viscous remanent magnetization (VRM) has been frequently suggested as a possible source of magnetic anomalies in ocean crust and as an important contributor of natural remanent magnetization in some volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Most references to VRM assume a linear dependence with log(t), yet long-term experimental data on VRM, while scarce often disagree with this simple notion. Here, we investigate the angular-dependence, grain-size dependence, initial-state dependence, and time (t) dependence of VRM acquisition. We observe a non-linear log(t) dependence of VRM acquisition over all time intervals (> 10(4) S) for all the samples regardless of various experimental conditions. Echoing earlier studies, we also find that VRM acquisition is strongly dependent on the initial magnetic state of the samples. Samples in a thermally demagnetized initial-state were most susceptible to VRM acquisition. When VRM is produced parallel to the initial thermal remanence, VRM acquisition is negligible. VRM acquisition is more prevalent for magnetites in single-domain and multidomain (MD) grains than in the pseudo-single-domain range. In MD magnetites, frequent removal and restoration of samples (for the purpose of zero-field remanence measurement) apparently increases the efficiency of VRM acquisition. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Schwehr, K, Tauxe L, Driscoll N, Lee H.  2006.  Detecting compaction disequilibrium with anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 7   10.1029/2006gc001378   AbstractWebsite

In clay-rich sediment, microstructures and macrostructures influence how sediments deform when under stress. When lithology is fairly constant, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) can be a simple technique for measuring the relative consolidation state of sediment, which reflects the sediment burial history. AMS can reveal areas of high water content and apparent overconsolidation associated with unconformities where sediment overburden has been removed. Many other methods for testing consolidation and water content are destructive and invasive, whereas AMS provides a nondestructive means to focus on areas for additional geotechnical study. In zones where the magnetic minerals are undergoing diagenesis, AMS should not be used for detecting compaction state. By utilizing AMS in the Santa Barbara Basin, we were able to identify one clear unconformity and eight zones of high water content in three cores. With the addition of susceptibility, anhysteretic remanent magnetization, and isothermal remanent magnetization rock magnetic techniques, we excluded 3 out of 11 zones from being compaction disequilibria. The AMS signals for these three zones are the result of diagenesis, coring deformation, and burrows. In addition, using AMS eigenvectors, we are able to accurately show the direction of maximum compression for the accumulation zone of the Gaviota Slide.

Tauxe, L.  2006.  Long-term trends in paleointensity: The contribution of DSDP/ODP submarine basaltic glass collections. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 156:223-241.   10.1016/j.pepi.2005.03.022   AbstractWebsite

The Deep Sea Drilling Project and the Ocean Drilling Program have been collecting fresh appearing submarine basaltic glass from the world's oceans for over three decades. This glass has proved nearly ideal for estimating paleointensity variations of the Earth's magnetic field. We compile here data for 726 paleointensity experiments from six publications on paleointensity using DSDP/ODP glass. We also include new data for an additional 225 specimens. These were obtained through the so-called "IZZI" paleointensity experiment of [Tauxe, L., Staudigel, H., 2004. Strength of the geomagnetic field in the cretaceous normal superchron: new data from submarine basaltic glass of the troodos ophiolite. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 5 (2), Q02H06, doi: 10.1029/2003GCO00635] whereby infield-zerofield steps are alternated with the zerofield-infield steps to enhance quality assessment of the resulting data. The entire collection of data from 951 experiments was prepared for uploading to the MagIC data base (, including original measurements, interpretations, and useful metadata. Excellent results were obtained throughout the depth (> 1400 mbsf) and age (0-160 Ma) range sampled. DSDP/ODP glass data are compared with published paleointensity data meeting minimal acceptance criteria from the time interval 1-160 Ma. Paleolatitudes were estimated for all cooling units in a self-consistent manner for use in calculating virtual axial dipole moments. We conclude: (1) There is about a 20% difference in mean values between the SBG and the lava flow data (48 +/- 36 and 57 +/- 29 ZAm(2) respectively). The difference is caused by the fact that there are more higher values in the lava flow data than in the SBG data set rather than a difference in the minimum values. Lava flows cooling over a periods of days to months can account for the discrepancy. (2) The positive relationship between polarity interval length and average paleofield intensity first hypothesized by [Cox, A.V, 1968. Lengths of geomagnetic polarity intervals. J. Geophys. Res. 73, 3247-3260] is supported by data compiled here. The Brunhes data (for which we have only a minimum estimate for polarity interval length) are consistent with a long polarity interval, suggesting that instead of racing toward reversal [Hulot, G., Eymin, C., Langlais, B., Mandea, M., Olsen, N., 2002. Small-scale structure of the geodynamo inferred from oersted and magsat satellite data. Nature 416, 620-623], we could instead be in the midst of a long stable polarity interval. (3) Because the average value appears to be a function of polarity interval length, it is probably not useful to calculate a mean value. Nonetheless, it appears that most of the time (apart from the Brunhes and the longest polarity intervals), the average dipole moment is substantially less than the present day value as suggested by [Juarez, T., Tauxe, L., Gee, J.S., Pick, T., 1998. The intensity of the earth's magnetic field over the past 160 million years. Nature 394, 878-881]. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Krijgsman, W, Tauxe L.  2006.  E/I corrected paleolatitudes for the sedimentary rocks of the Baja British Columbia hypothesis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 242:205-216.   10.1016/j.epsl.2005.11.052   AbstractWebsite

Paleomagnetic inclinations from sediments of the western terranes of Canada are consistently too shallow for their reconstructed paleogeographic positions. Two contradicting explanations for these discrepancies are: (1) terranes have been displaced northward with respect to the stable American craton by several thousands of kilometres between the Late Cretaceous (similar to 75 Ma) and the Eocene (similar to 50 Ma) and (2) sedimentary inclination error has caused a shallow bias in the paleomagnetic directions. Here, we apply the elongation/inclination (E/I) method to paleomagnetie data sets from sedimentary rocks of supposedly allochtonous terranes of Nvestem North America to correct for inclination flattening. Our results indicate that the paleomagnetic directions from the continental Silverquick sediments (95-92 Ma) of southern British Colombia are not seriously affected by inclination error, because the magnetic signal most likely concerns a chemical remanent magnetisation (CRM). In contrast, the marine sediments of the Nanaimo Group (84-72 Ma) of Vancouver Island region appear seriously affected by inclination flattening (f=0.7) and the EA corrected mean inclinations are about 9 degrees steeper than the original data. We arrive at corrected inclinations/paleolatitudes of I** = 57 degrees/lambda = 38 degrees N for the Silverquick and I** = 55 degrees/lambda = 36 degrees N for the Nanaimo sediments. Our corrected paleolatitudes indicate that the Canadian terranes were indeed located adjacent to the Baja Californian margin during the Late Cretaceous, thus supporting the Baja BC hypothesis. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Yu, Y, Tauxe L.  2006.  Effect of multi-cycle heat treatment and pre-history dependence on partial thermoremanence (pTRM) and pTRM tails. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 157:196-207.   10.1016/j.pepi.2006.04.006   AbstractWebsite

We test two fundamental assumptions embedded in Thellier experiments, the initial state dependence and the effect of multi-cycle heat treatment. We observe that the magnitude of partial thermoremanent magnetizations (pTRMs) imparted on an initial state of thermal demagnetization is larger than those of pTRMs in the presence of a TRM when the field used to impart pTRM is equal in magnitude and parallel to that used to produce TRM. A multi-cycle Thellier analysis on coarse-grained magnetites progressively produces more intense pTRMs and progressively erases more of the pTRM tails. Both pre-history and multi-cycle dependence will likely enhance the non-linear features of the Arai plot for coarse-grained magnetites. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Tauxe, L, Steindorf JL, Harris A.  2006.  Depositional remanent magnetization: Toward an improved theoretical and experimental foundation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 244:515-529.   10.1016/j.cpsl.2006.02.003   AbstractWebsite

The first theoretical predictions for the behavior of magnetic particles in water were that sedimentary magnetizations would be fully aligned with the ambient field, yet redeposition experiments showed a strong (and quasi-linear) dependence on the external field. This empirically observed linearity has served as the fundamental assumption of sedimentary paleointensity studies for decades. We present redeposition experiments which suggest instead that the relationship between depositional remanence (DRM) and applied field may frequently be curved for magnetic fields in the range of the Earth's. Numerical simulations using a flocculation model can explain the redeposition data and suggest that DRM will be significantly non-linear when the floes are small (several microns). There is a strong dependence of floe size on salinity particularly in low salinity environments. Floe size has a profound influence on the efficiency of DRM, hence low salinity environment may give results with poor reproducibility. The size of the floe in which magnetic particles are embedded is not accounted for in current methods of normalization, yet is the most important parameter. On the bright side, however, it now seems possible to quantitatively explain paleointensity in sedimentary systems opening the door to absolute paleointensity estimates from sediments whose key parameters of floe size distribution and settling times can be constrained. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V All fights reserved.

Tauxe, L.  2005.  Inclination flattening and the geocentric axial dipole hypothesis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 233:247-261.   10.1016/j.epsl.2005.01.027   AbstractWebsite

William Gilbert first articulated what has come to be known as the geocentric axial dipole hypothesis. The GAD hypothesis is the principle on which paleogeographic reconstructions rely to constrain paleolatitude. For decades, there have been calls for permanent non-dipole contributions to the time-averaged field. Recently, these have demanded large contributions of the axial octupole, which, if valid, would call into question the general utility of the GAD hypothesis. In the process of geological recording of the geomagnetic field, "Earth filters" distort the directions. Many processes, for example, sedimentary inclination flattening and random tilting, can lead to a net shallowing of the observed direction. Therefore, inclinations that are shallower than expected from GAD can be explained by recording biases, northward transport, or non-dipole geomagnetic fields. Using paleomagnetic data from the last 5 million years from well-constrained lava flow data allows the construction of a statistical geomagnetic field model. Such a model can predict not only the average expected direction for a given latitude, but also the shape of the distribution of directions produced by secular variation. The elongation of predicted directions varies as a function of latitude (from significantly elongate in the up/down direction at the equator to circularly symmetric at the poles). Sedimentary inclination flattening also works in a predictable manner producing elongations that are stretched side to side and the degree of flattening depending on the inclination of the applied field and a "flattening factor" f. The twin tools of the predicted elongation/inclination relationship characteristic of the geomagnetic field for the past 5 million years and the distortion of the directions predicted from sedimentary inclination flattening allows us to find the flattening factor that yields corrected directions with an elongation and average inclination consistent with the statistical field model. The method can be tested using sediments deposited in a known field. Application of the elongation/inclination correction method to two magnetostratigraphic data sets from red beds in Asia and Pakistan brings the inclinations into agreement with those predicted from modem GPS measurements and from global paleomagnetic data. There appears to be no compelling reason at this time to abandon the geocentric dipole hypothesis, which has provided such an excellent working model for so long, (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Yu, YJ, Tauxe L.  2005.  Testing the IZZI protocol of geomagnetic field intensity determination. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 6   10.1029/2004gc000840   AbstractWebsite

A new paleointensity determination protocol (the IZZI method) was recently proposed. The IZZI technique combines the Aitken (in-field, zero-field; IZ) and Coe (zero-field, in-field; ZI) methods. The IZZI protocol of paleointensity method was experimentally tested, showing a strong angular dependence resulting from the undemagnetized portions of partial thermoremanent magnetization (pTRM) tails. The IZZI method is better than the conventional techniques (Aitken, Coe, and Thellier) in three respects: (1) it can easily detect the angular dependence; (2) it provides a quantitative estimate for the consistency of the outcome between IZ and ZI step; and (3) it is quicker because the extra pTRM tail check step is unnecessary.

Kent, DV, Tauxe L.  2005.  Corrected Late Triassic latitudes for continents adjacent to the North Atlantic. Science. 307:240-244.   10.1126/science.1105826   AbstractWebsite

We use a method based on a statistical geomagnetic field model to recognize and correct for inclination error in sedimentary rocks from early Mesozoic rift basins in North America, Greenland, and Europe. The congruence of the corrected sedimentary results and independent data from igneous rocks on a regional scale indicates that a geocentric axial dipole field operated in the Late Triassic. The corrected paleolatitudes indicate a faster poleward drift of similar to0.6 degrees per million years for this part of Pangea and suggest that the equatorial humid belt in the Late Triassic was about as wide as it is today.

Yu, YJ, Tauxe L.  2005.  On the use of magnetic transient hysteresis in paleomagnetism for granulometry. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 6   10.1029/2004gc000839   AbstractWebsite

[1] Parameters derived from magnetic hysteresis experiments have been used as granulometric indicators in paleomagnetism. In practice, discriminating the superparamagnetic (SP) fraction from the coarse grain magnetites in parameter ratio plots is often inconclusive. To overcome this ambiguity, transient hysteresis (TH) has been recently proposed. We have carried out micromagnetic simulations to provide a fundamental rationale for the use of TH for granulometry. We found that magnetic TH results from the difference of magnetization configuration between ascending and descending hysteresis loops as a result of self-demagnetization. The descending branch has a tendency to keep a more uniform ( e. g., flower-like) configuration, while the ascending branch prefers a less uniform ( e. g., vortex-like) structure. According to our simulations, TH increases as the grain size increases and as the aspect ratio decreases. We also carried out TH measurements for well-defined synthetic and natural samples. It is notable that TH from the simulation for samples with aspect ratio q = 1.5 agrees well with the experimental observations for annealed magnetites of smaller sizes. In general, small TH is a clear indication for the absence of complex magnetized structures. Adding TH analysis to the hysteresis loop measurements requires a minor effort yet provides strong constraint on grain size.

Yan, MD, Van der Voo R, Tauxe L, Fang XM, Pares JM.  2005.  Shallow bias in Neogene palaeomagnetic directions from the Guide Basin, NE Tibet, caused by inclination error. Geophysical Journal International. 163:944-948.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2005.02802.x   AbstractWebsite

Too-shallow inclinations have frequently been observed in Cenozoic sedimentary strata in central Asia, and new palaeomagnetic results obtained by us from the Guide Basin in NE Tibet are no exception. We use a statistical analysis technique developed by Tauxe and Kent (TK03.GAD), which is based on a geomagnetic field model that predicts distributions of palaeomagnetic directions, and show that the too-shallow Neogene mean inclination (44 degrees) from 627 sites can be corrected to a value of 58 degrees, which closely matches the inclination predicted for the area. We conclude that syn- to post-depositional flattening is the most likely cause for the widely observed inclination bias in central Asia.

Krijgsman, W, Tauxe L.  2004.  Shallow bias in Mediterranean paleomagnetic directions caused by inclination error. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 222:685-695.   10.1016/j.epsl.2004.03.007   AbstractWebsite

A variety of paleomagnetic data from the Mediterranean region show a strong bias toward shallow inclinations. This pattern of shallow inclinations has been interpreted to be the result of (1) major northward terrane displacement, (2) large nondipole components in the Earth's magnetic field, and (3) systematic inclination flattening of the paleomagnetic directions. Here, we use the observation that, in addition to the well-known variation of magnetic inclination with latitude, the N-S elongation of directional dispersion also varies, being most elongate at the equator and nearly symmetric at the poles. Assuming that inclination shallowing follows the relationship long known from experiment, we invert the inclinations using a range of "flattening factors" to find the elongation/inclination pair consistent with a statistical model for the paleosecular variation. We apply the so-called "elongation/inclination" method to the extensive paleomagnetic data sets from the Miocene sediments of the Calatayud basin (Spain) and the island of Crete (Greece). After correction, the Spanish data are in good agreement with the expected middle Miocene latitude of the region. The data from Crete suggest that it occupied a position in the late Miocene about 275 km north of the predicted location. This is in agreement with the geological and geodynamical models for the east Mediterranean region, which indicate that slab rollback processes in combination with Anatolian push generated southward migration of Crete. The 7.5 million year average displacement rate of Crete estimated by the E/I method is 37 mm/yr to the south, which closely coincides with present-day rates based on global positioning system (GPS) and model measurements. We also show that inappropriate tilt corrections lead to a shallow inclination bias as well, explaining that observed in studies of lava flows of the region. We conclude that the east Mediterranean inclination anomaly is caused by sedimentary inclination error and not by a persistent octupolar contribution to the geomagnetic field, or northward transport. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Tauxe, L, Gans P, Mankinen EA.  2004.  Paleomagnetism and Ar-40/Ar-39 ages from volcanics extruded during the Matuyama and Brunhes Chrons near McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 5   10.1029/2003gc000656   AbstractWebsite

Maps of virtual geomagnetic poles derived from international geomagnetic reference field models show large lobes with significant departures from the spin axis. These lobes persist in field models for the last few millenia. The anomalous lobes are associated with observation sites at extreme southerly latitudes. To determine whether these features persist for millions of years, paleomagnetic vector data from the continent of Antarctica are essential. We present here new paleomagnetic vector data and Ar-40/Ar-39 ages from lava flows spanning the Brunhes and Matuyama Chrons from the vicinity of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Oriented paleomagnetic samples were collected from 50 lava flows by E. Mankinen and A. Cox in the 1965-1966 austral summer season. Preliminary data based largely on the natural remanent magnetization (NRM) directions were published by Mankinen and Cox [1988]. We have performed detailed paleomagnetic investigations of 37 sites with multiple fully oriented core samples to investigate the reliability of results from this unique sample collection. Of these, only one site fails to meet our acceptance criteria for directional data. Seven sites are reversely magnetized. The mean normal and reverse directions are antipodal. The combined mean direction has (D) over bar =12, (I) over bar=-86, alpha=4, kappa=37 and is indistinguishable from that expected from a GAD field. We obtained reproducible absolute paleointensity estimates from 15 lava flows with a mean dipole moment of 49 ZAm(2) and a standard deviation of 28 ZAm(2). Ar-40/Ar-39 age determinations were successfully carried out on samples from 18 of the flows. Our new isotopic ages and paleomagnetic polarities are consistent with the currently accepted geomagnetic reversal timescales.

Yu, Y, Tauxe L, Moskowitz BM.  2004.  Temperature dependence of magnetic hysteresis. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 5   10.1029/2003gc000685   AbstractWebsite

[1] Hysteresis measurements have become a routine procedure in characterizing the magnetic remanence carriers of rocks. In this study we have investigated the temperature dependence of magnetic hysteresis in order to better recognize the dominant anisotropy and changes of domain state at various temperatures. Hysteresis properties have been measured at a series of temperatures between 20 K and 873 K for synthetic magnetites and natural (titano) magnetite-bearing samples. For synthetic samples and gabbros, shape anisotropy dominates most temperature ranges, while magnetocrystalline anisotropy controls hysteresis properties below 120 K. Titanomagnetite-bearing oceanic basalts show quite different behavior with much higher coercivity, resulting from prominent magnetostrictive anisotropy. While many factors such as composition, field treatment, grain shape and size, and stress affect hysteresis properties at various temperature ranges, a dominant anisotropy was better recognized when remanence ratio was plotted against coercivity.

Poland, MP, Fink JH, Tauxe L.  2004.  Patterns of magma flow in segmented silicic dikes at Summer Coon volcano, Colorado: AMS and thin section analysis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 219:155-169.   10.1016/s0012-821x(03)00706-4   AbstractWebsite

A complex pattern of magma flow is found in two silicic dikes of a radial swarm at Summer Coon, an eroded stratovolcano in southern Colorado. The two intrusions are broken into multiple segments that suggest vertical dike propagation. However, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) measurements and thin section observations suggest that magma flow was often subhorizontal and away from the center of the volcano. Segments that are proximal to the central intrusion are characterized by magma that flowed steeply upward at the proximal segment extremity, then laterally along the segment, and finally downward at the distal end of the segment. Magma flow in offset segment tips located far from the volcano center was subhorizontal towards the adjacent segment, implying lateral propagation of segment tips towards one another. This observation suggests relatively high driving pressure in distal dike segments.. as supported by dike thickening with radial distance from the center of the volcano. The present study indicates that radial dike evolution at stratovolcanoes is dominated by lateral flow of magma and dike segmentation is a poor magma flow indicator. A horizontally propagating radial dike has the potential to cause an eruption low on the flank of a composite cone, which poses a significant yet largely unrecognized hazard to population centers and infrastructure that may surround the volcano. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Tauxe, L, Staudigel H.  2004.  Strength of the geomagnetic field in the Cretaceous Normal Superchron: New data from submarine basaltic glass of the Troodos Ophiolite. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 5   10.1029/2003gc000635   AbstractWebsite

[1] We present here new paleointensity data from 39 sampling sites collected from the quenched margins of pillow lavas and dikes exposed within the Troodos Ophiolite ( similar to 92 Ma), formed during the Cretaceous Normal Superchron (CNS), a period of approximately 40 million years when the geomagnetic field reversed extremely infrequently if at all. Monte Carlo simulations suggest that a minimum of 25 estimates are necessary for a reasonably robust estimate for the average field strength. Our data suggest a dipole strength equivalent to the present field or nearly twice the post-CNS average. The mean and standard deviation of the dipole moment (81 +/- 43 ZAm(2); Z = 10(21)) from the 57 data points compiled here agree remarkably well with those predicted from the long paleointensity record derived from DSDP Site 522. The new data set for the CNS suggests a picture of a strong and stable field during the period of time when it stopped reversing. Moreover, the similarity of the CNS data with the present geomagnetic field suggests that it is presently in a state of unusual polarity stability.

Yu, YJ, Tauxe L, Genevey A.  2004.  Toward an optimal geomagnetic field intensity determination technique. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 5   10.1029/2003gc000630   AbstractWebsite

[1] Paleointensity determinations based on double heating techniques (in-field/zero-field cooling, zero-field/ in-field cooling, and two in-field steps with opposite laboratory fields) are generally considered to be functionally interchangeable producing equally reliable paleointensity estimates. To investigate this premise, we have developed a simple mathematical model. We find that both the zero-field first and infield first methods have a strong angular dependence on the laboratory field ( parallel, orthogonal, and antiparallel) while the two in-field steps method is independent of the direction of the laboratory-produced field. Contrary to common practice, each method yields quite different outcomes if the condition of reciprocity of blocking and unblocking temperatures is not met, even with marginal (10%) tails of partial thermoremanence. Our calculations suggest that the zero field first method with the laboratory-produced field anti-parallel to the natural remanence (NRM) is the most robust paleointensity determination technique when the intensity of the lab-induced field is smaller than ancient field. However, the zero field first method with the laboratory-field parallel to the NRM is the optimum approach when the intensity of the lab-induced field is larger than the ancient field. By far the best approach, however, is to alternatethe infield-zerofield (IZ) steps with zerofield-infield (ZI) steps.

Tauxe, L, Luskin C, Selkin P, Gans P, Calvert A.  2004.  Paleomagnetic results from the Snake River Plain: Contribution to the time-averaged field global database. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 5   10.1029/2003gc000661   AbstractWebsite

[1] This study presents paleomagnetic results from the Snake River Plain (SRP) in southern Idaho as a contribution to the time-averaged field global database. Paleomagnetic samples were measured from 26 sites, 23 of which ( 13 normal, 10 reverse) yielded site mean directions meeting our criteria for acceptable paleomagnetic data. Flow ages (on 21 sites) range from 5 ka to 5.6 Ma on the basis of Ar-40/Ar-39 dating methods. The age and polarity for the 21 dated sites are consistent with the Geomagnetic Reversal Time Scale except for a single reversely magnetized site dated at 0.39 Ma. This is apparently the first documented excursion associated with a period of low paleointensity detected in both sedimentary and igneous records. Combining the new data from the SRP with data published from the northwest United States between the latitudes of 40degrees and 50degreesN, there are 183 sites in all that meet minimum acceptability criteria for legacy and new data. The overall mean direction of 173 normally magnetized sites has a declination of 2.3degrees, inclination of 61.4degrees, a Fisher concentration parameter (kappa) of 58, and a radius of 95% confidence (alpha(95)) of 1.4degrees. Reverse sites have a mean direction of 182.4degrees declination, -58.6degrees inclination, kappa of 50, and alpha(95) of 6.9degrees. Normal and reversed mean directions are antipodal and indistinguishable from a geocentric axial dipole field at the 95% confidence level. Virtual geomagnetic pole dispersion was found to be circularly symmetric, while the directional data were elongate north-south. An updated and corrected database for the northwestern U. S. region has been contributed to the Magnetics Information Consortium (MagIC) database at

Tauxe, L, Kent DV.  2004.  A simplified statistical model for the geomagnetic field and the detection of shallow bias in paleomagnetic inclinations: Was the ancient magnetic field dipolar? Timescales of the paleomagnetic field, Geophysical Monograph. 145( Channell J, Ed.).:101-116., Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union, Abstract
Schwehr, K, Tauxe L.  2003.  Characterization of soft-sediment deformation: Detection of cryptoslumps using magnetic methods. Geology. 31:203-206.   10.1130/0091-7613(2003)031<0203:cossdd>;2   AbstractWebsite

Many workers have explored anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) of sediments as an indicator of deformation. Several studies have used deflection of the eigen-vector associated with the minimum in susceptibility, V-3, as a criterion for deformation. We examine the AMS record of a well-exposed slump and find that although demonstrable deformation can occur without deflecting the V-3 directions, an oblate AMS fabric is transformed into a triaxial fabric during initial deformation. Transformation of the fabric from oblate to triaxial appears to be highly correlated with an increase in natural remanent magnetization scatter, whereas deflection of the V-3 axes is not. We suggest that subtle soft-sediment deformation can be detected by using AMS fabric.

Bowles, J, Tauxe L, Gee J, McMillan D, Cande S.  2003.  Source of tiny wiggles in Chron C5: A comparison of sedimentary relative intensity and marine magnetic anomalies. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 4   10.1029/2002gc000489   AbstractWebsite

[1] In addition to the well-established pattern of polarity reversals, short-wavelength fluctuations are often present in both sea-surface data ("tiny wiggles'') and near-bottom anomaly data. While a high degree of correlation between different geographical regions suggests a geomagnetic origin for some of these wiggles, anomaly data alone cannot uniquely determine whether they represent short reversals or paleointensity variations. Independent evidence from another geomagnetic recording medium such as deep-sea sediments is required to determine the true nature of the tiny wiggles. We present such independent evidence in the form of sedimentary relative paleointensity from Chron C5. We make the first comparison between a sedimentary relative paleointensity record (ODP Site 887 at 54degreesN, 148degreesW) and deep-tow marine magnetic anomaly data (43degreesN, 131degreesW) [ Bowers et al., 2001] for Chron C5. The sediment cores are densely sampled at similar to2.5 kyr resolution. The inclination record shows no evidence for reverse intervals within the similar to1 myr-long normal Chron C5n.2n. Rock magnetic measurements suggest that the primary magnetic carrier is pseudo-single domain magnetite. We choose a partial anhysteretic magnetization (pARM) as our preferred normalizer, and the resulting relative paleointensity record is used as input to a forward model of crustal magnetization. We then compare the results of this model with the stacked deep-tow anomaly records. The two records show a significant degree of correlation, suggesting that the tiny wiggles in the marine magnetic anomalies are likely produced by paleointensity variations. An analysis of our sampling density suggests that if any reverse intervals exist at this site, they are likely to be <5 kyr in duration. Furthermore, we suggest that reverse intervals during Chron C5n.2n documented in other locations are unlikely to be global.

Tauxe, L, Constable C, Johnson CL, Koppers AAP, Miller WR, Staudigel H.  2003.  Paleomagnetism of the southwestern USA recorded by 0-5 Ma igneous rocks. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 4   10.1029/2002gc000343   AbstractWebsite

The issue of permanent nondipole contributions to the time-averaged field lies at the very heart of paleomagnetism and the study of the ancient geomagnetic field. In this paper we focus on paleomagnetic directional results from igneous rocks of the southwestern U. S. A. in the age range 0-5 Ma and investigate both the time-averaged field and its variability about the mean value. Several decades of work in the southwestern United States have resulted in the publication of paleomagnetic data from over 800 individual paleomagnetic sites. As part of a new investigation of the San Francisco Volcanics, we collected paleomagnetic samples from 47 lava flows, many of which have been previously dated. The new data combined with published data are highly scattered. Contributions to the scatter were considered, and we find that removal of data sets from tectonically active areas and judicious selection according to Fisher's [1953] precision parameter results in an axially symmetric data distribution with normal and reverse modes that are indistinguishable from antipodal. Monte Carlo simulations suggest that a minimum of 5 samples per site are needed to estimate the precision parameter sufficiently accurately to allow its use as a determinant of data quality. Numerical simulations from statistical paleosecular variation models indicate the need for several hundred paleomagnetic sites to get an accurate determination of the average field direction and are also used to investigate the directional bias that results from averaging unit vectors rather than using the full field vector. Average directions for the southwestern U. S. A. show small deviations from a geocentric axial dipole field, but these cannot be considered statistically significant. Virtual geomagnetic pole (VGP) dispersions are consistent with those from globally distributed observations analyzed by McElhinny and McFadden [1997]. However, a systematic investigation of the effect of imposing a cutoff on VGPs with large deviations from the geographic axis indicates that while it may reduce bias in calculating the average direction, such a procedure can result in severe underestimates of the variance in the geomagnetic field. A more satisfactory solution would be to use an unbiased technique for joint estimation of the mean direction and variance of the field distribution.

Hicks, JF, Johnson KR, Obradovich JD, Miggins DP, Tauxe L.  2003.  Magnetostratigraphy of Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) to lower Eocene strata of the Denver Basin, Colorado. Rocky Mountain Geology. 38:1-27. Abstract
Johnson, CL, Constable CG, Tauxe L.  2003.  Mapping Long-Term Changes in Earth's Magnetic Field. Science (Washington). 300:2044-2045.: American Association for the Advancement of Science   10.1126/science.1082007   AbstractWebsite

The existence of a relatively stable geomagnetic field is today pretty much taken for granted, along with associated benefits such as easy navigation and the protection that it provides in shielding Earth from cosmic rays. Yet in the course of Earth history, the field has reversed multiple times, with substantial changes in both its direction and strength between reversals. These changes can only be studied via the geological record because of the long time scales on which they occur. New paleomagnetic records of both direction and intensity of the field, derived from lava flows and sediments around the world, now allow improved characterization of geomagnetic field behavior.

Tauxe, L, Love JJ.  2003.  Paleointensity in Hawaiian Scientific Drilling Project Hole (HSDP2): Results from submarine basaltic glass. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 4:n/a-n/a.   10.1029/2001GC000276   AbstractWebsite

Paleointensity estimates based on the high quality Thellier-Thellier data from the early Brunhes (420–780 ka) are rare (only 30 in the published literature). The Second Hawaiian Scientific Drilling Project (HSDP2) drill hole recovered submarine volcanics spanning the approximate time period of 420–550 ka. These are of particular interest for absolute paleointensity studies owing to the abundance of fresh submarine basaltic glass, which can preserve an excellent record of ancient geomagnetic field intensity. We present here new results of Thellier-Thellier paleointensity experiments that nearly double the number of reliable paleointensity data available for the early Brunhes. We also show that the magnetizations of the associated submarine basalts are dominated by viscous magnetizations and therefore do not reflect the true ancient geomagnetic field intensity at the time of extrusion. The viscous contamination is particularly severe because of a combination of low blocking temperatures in the basalts and relatively high temperatures in the deeper parts of the drill core. Our new data, when placed on the approximate timescale available for HSDP and HSDP2, are at odds with other contemporaneous paleointensity data. The discrepancy can be reconciled by adjusting the HSDP timescales to be younger by about 35 kyr.

Tauxe, L, Bertram HN, Seberino C.  2002.  Physical interpretation of hysteresis loops: Micromagnetic modeling of fine particle magnetite. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 3   10.1029/2001gc000241   AbstractWebsite

[1] Hysteresis measurements have become an important part of characterizing magnetic behavior of rocks in paleomagnetic studies. Theoretical interpretation is often difficult owing to the complexity of mineral magnetism and published data sets demonstrate remanence and coercivity behavior that is currently unexplained. In the last decade, numerical micromagnetic modeling has been used to simulate magnetic particles. Such simulations reveal the existence of nonuniform remanent states between single and multidomain, known as the "flower'' and "vortex'' configurations. These suggest plausible explanations for many hysteresis measurements yet fall short of explaining high saturation remanence, high coercivity data such as those commonly observed in fine grained submarine basalts. In this paper, we review the theoretical and experimental progress to date in understanding hysteresis of geological materials. We extend numerical simulations to a greater variety of shapes and sizes, including random assemblages of particles and shapes more complex than simple rods and cubes. Our simulations provide plausible explanations for a wide range of hysteresis behavior.

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.

Deino, AL, Tauxe L, Monaghan M, Hill A.  2002.  Ar-40/Ar-30 geochronology and paleomagnetic stratigraphy of the Lukeino and lower Chemeron Formations at Tabarin and Kapcheberek, Tugen Hills, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution. 42:117-140.   10.1006/jhev.2001.0521   AbstractWebsite

Ar-40/Ar-39 single-crystal laser-fusion dating, K-Ar dating, and paleo-magnetic reversal stratigraphy have been used to determine the chronostratigraphy of the Kabarnet Trachyte, Lukeino Formation, Kaparaina Basalt Formation, and Chemeron Formation at the sites of Kapcheberek (BPRP#77) and Tabarin (BPRP#77) in the Tugen Hills, Kenya. The succession ranges in age from 6(.)56-3(.)8 Ma. The upper Lukeino Formation at Kapcherberek, including the fauna from the site BPRP#76, was deposited during chron C3r and can be constrained to the interval 5(.)88-5(.)72 Ma. The Chemeron Formation at Tabarin includes at the base an ignimbrite and associated basal air-fall tuff with a combined age of 5(.)31 +/- 0(.)03 Ma. Sedimentary and volcaniclastic rocks of the Chemeron Formation which unconformably overlie the ignimbrite record chrons C3n.2n through C2Ar. The combined Ar-40/Ar-39 and paleomagnetic data constrain the age of this sequence to 4(.)63-3(.)837 Ma. The age of the Tabarin mandible fragment (KNM-TH 13150) and associated fauna at site BPRP#77 in the Chemeron Formation is 4(.)48-4(.)41 Ma, marginally older than similar early hominids from Aramis, Ethiopia. Basin subsidence appears to be defining an overall accumulation rate of about 17 cm/ka over the 2(.)7 Ma represented at Tabarin and Kapcheberek, despite episodes of rapid accumulation and hiatuses. (C) 2002 Academic Press.

Hicks, JF, Johnson KR, Obradovich JD, Tauxe L, Clark D.  2002.  Magnetostratigraphy and geochronology of the Hell Creek and basal Fort Union Formations of the southwestern North Dakota and a reclibration of the ages of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Geological Society of America Bulletin Special Paper. 361:35-55. Abstract
Cronin, M, Tauxe L, Constable C, Selkin P, Pick T.  2001.  Noise in the quiet zone. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 190:13-30.   10.1016/s0012-821x(01)00354-5   AbstractWebsite

We have carried out a detailed paleomagnetic investigation of two stratigraphically overlapping sections from the Scaglia Bianca Formation (similar to 85-89.5 Ma) in the Umbria-Marche area in central Italy. Sampling was conducted over 32 in and 7 in intervals at La Roccaccia and Furlo respectively. After AF cleaning the majority of specimens show the expected normal magnetic field orientation, however a number of specimens are directionally anomalous. Some of these deviant specimens are accompanied by apparent spikes or dips in normalized intensity. A detailed investigation of rock magnetics shows that most of these deviations are not a sign of excursionary geomagnetic field behavior, but rather correspond to specimens with distinct rock magnetic characteristics and are therefore rock magnetic 'noise'. Such specimens should not be interpreted as records of the geomagnetic field. Our experience suggests that detailed rock magnetic and magnetic fabric analysis should be done on all anomalous directions prior to interpreting them as geomagnetic field behavior. After elimination of rock magnetic noise in the Scaglia Bianca data sets, there is a high degree of agreement in direction and to a lesser extent relative intensity between correlative portions of the two sections. We therefore offer this data set as a robust record of geomagnetic field behavior during the 4.5 Myr interval represented by the La Roccaccia section. A statistical analysis of the relative intensity observations suggests that this period of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron is characterized by a normalized variability in paleointensity (standard deviation about 28% of the mean value) that is significantly lower than seen during the Oligocene over intervals in which reversals or tiny wiggles occur (typically about 50%). The directional stability results in virtual geomagnetic pole dispersion compatible with that found in volcanic rocks from around the same latitude and ranging in age from 80 to 110 Ma. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.