Archaeointensity results spanning the past 6 kiloyears from eastern China and implications for extreme behaviors of the geomagnetic field.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 114:39-44. 10.1073/pnas.1616976114 Abstract
Variations of the Earth’s geomagnetic field during the Holocene are important for understanding centennial to millennial-scale processes of the Earth’s deep interior and have enormous potential implications for chronological correlations (e.g., comparisons between different sedimentary recording sequences, archaeomagnetic dating). Here, we present 21 robust archaeointensity data points from eastern China spanning the past ∼6 kyr. These results add significantly to the published data both regionally and globally. Taking together, we establish an archaeointensity reference curve for Eastern Asia, which can be used for archaeomagnetic dating in this region. Virtual axial dipole moments (VADMs) of the data range from a Holocene-wide low of ∼27 to “spike” values of ∼166 ZAm2 (Z: 1021). The results, in conjunction with our recently published data, confirm the existence of a decrease in paleointensity (DIP) in China around ∼2200 BCE. These low intensities are the lowest ever found for the Holocene and have not been reported outside of China. We also report a spike intensity of 165.8 ± 6.0 ZAm2 at ∼1300 BCE (±300 y), which is either a prelude to or the same event (within age uncertainties) as spikes first reported in the Levant.
New archaeomagnetic direction results from China and their constraints on palaeosecular variation of the geomagnetic field in Eastern Asia.
Geophysical Journal International. 207:1332-1342. 10.1093/gji/ggw351 Abstract
We carried out an archaeomagnetic directional study on 38 oriented samples (bricks and baked clays) collected from four archaeological locations at three provinces in China. The ages of our samples, spanning from similar to 3000 BCE to similar to 1300 CE, were constrained using a combination of archaeological context, radiocarbon dating and stratigraphic information. Rock magnetic results demonstrate that the main magnetic minerals of the studied samples are magnetite and/or hematite in single domain and superparamagnetic states. A total of 20 new reliable archaeodirectional data from 12 independent sites are obtained after thermal demagnetization experiments. These are the first set of archaeodirectional data in China produced since the 1990s. The published data are largely from the past 2 kyr and data from older time periods are rare. Our new data, especially those from period older than 3 ka, fill many gaps of the presently published dataset and will provide strong constraints on palaeosecular variation of the geomagnetic field in Eastern Asia and on the improvement of global models. Quite a few inflection points in the direction of the geomagnetic field are recorded in Eastern Asia over the past 10 kyr and some of them synchronize with the maximums or minimums of the palaeointensity. The palaeosecular variation rates are very low (based on present data distribution) before 2000 BCE and then start to increase and fluctuate afterward, which is generally consistent with the pattern of palaeointensity variations in this area.
Towards absolute calibration of sedimentary paleointensity records.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 143:269-274. 10.1016/0012-821x(96)00128-8 Abstract
Using relative paleointensity estimates derived from twelve globally distributed pelagic sediment cores, we assess whether they record a signal consistent with that expected from a dominant geocentric axial dipole, The cores span the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary and we normalize the observations by supposing that at the time the direction reverses the intensity low reflects only the non-axial-dipole contribution to the field. We further assume that this non-axial-dipole contribution to the field is invariant with geographic location. From absolute paleointensity compilations we estimate its size to be about 7.5 mu T; this supplies the calibration for the axial dipole signal away from the extreme low in intensity, The data predict the dipole field variation with latitude with similar accuracy to that observed in absolute paleointensity records, and show similar behavior when transformed to virtual axial dipole moments.
The Bootstrap for Magnetic Susceptibility Tensors.
Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth and Planets. 95:8383-8395. 10.1029/JB095iB06p08383 Abstract
In studies of the anisotropy of susceptibility or remanence of paleomagnetic samples it is conventional to specify the anisotropy in terms of the parameters of the anisotropy ellipsoids, namely the directions of the principal axes of the ellipsoid and their associated eigenvalues. Confidence intervals for these parameters have in the past often been estimated by using a linearization scheme to propagate the effect of small changes through the eigenvalue decomposition. The validity of these approximations is explored using a Monte-Carlo simulation from measurements that are presumed normally distributed, showing that there are circumstances in which the linearization scheme gives confidence intervals that are much too small. Q-Q plots indicate that the common assumption that the noise in the measurements is Gaussian does not always hold. Because of these shortcomings in the conventional technique we propose using a bootstrap resampling scheme to find empirically the distribution of uncertainties in the results. Confidence intervals for the eigenvalues are found directly from their empirical distributions. For the principal axes, approximate elliptical regions of confidence on the unit sphere are parameterized in terms of the Kent or FB5 distribution. The number of modes observed in the distribution of eigenvalues obtained by bootstrapping is used to classify the shape of the susceptibility ellipsoid as spherical, oblate, prolate or triaxial. The empirical nature of the bootstrap technique allows the extension of the analysis of uncertainties to parameters derived from the principal susceptibilities, such as percentage anisotropy or shape factor.
Paleointensity In The Pelagic Realm - Marine Sediment Data Compared With Archaeomagnetic And Lake Sediment Records.
Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 90:43-59. 10.1111/j.1365-246X.1987.tb00674.x Abstract
Four box cores collected from the Ontong—Java plateau during the Eurydice expedition have been used to make relative geomagnetic palaeo-intensity measurements. Rock magnetic measurements on the sediments show that they are characterized by a uniform magnetic mineralogy, and that they are suitable for relative intensity estimates. These are obtained by normalizing the NRM by an ARM imparted in a low DC bias field. the palaeoceanographic event known as the preservation spike is used to establish a crude time-scale for the record so that it may be compared with other data from the same region, and also with global palaeointensity estimates. the marine sediment data are quite similar to Australian intensity data from lake sediments and archaeomagnetic sources, but as might be expected exhibit some obvious differences from the global record.
Analysis of 11 Myr of geomagnetic intensity variation.
Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 103:17735-17748. 10.1029/98jb01519 Abstract
We have conducted a detailed exploratory analysis of an II million year long almost continuous record of relative geomagnetic paleointensity from a sediment core acquired on Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 73, at Site 522 in the South Atlantic. We assess the quality of the paleointensity record using spectral methods and conclude that the relative intensity record is minimally influenced by climate variations. Isothermal remanence is shown to be the most effective normalizer for these data, although both susceptibility and anhysteretic remanence are also adequate. Statistical analysis shows that the paleointensity variations follow a gamma distribution, and are compatible with predictions from modified paleosecular variation models and global absolute paleointensity data. When subdivided by polarity interval, the variability in paleointensity is proportional to the average, and further, the average is weakly correlated with interval length. Spectral estimates for times from 28.77 until 22.74 Ma, when the reversal rate is about 4 Myr(-1), are compatible with a Poisson model in which the spectrum of intensity variations is dominated by the reversal process in the frequency range 1-50 Mgr(-1) In contrast, between 34.7 and 29.4 Ma, when the reversal rate is about 1.6 Myr(-1), the spectra indicate a different secular variation regime. The magnetic field is stronger, and more variable, and a strong peak in the spectrum occurs at about 8 Myr(-1). This peak magi be a reflection of the same signal as recorded by the small variations known as tiny wiggles seen in marine magnetic anomaly profiles.
Dynamic behaviour of the East Antarctic ice sheet during Pliocene warmth.
Nature Geoscience. 6:765-769. 10.1038/ngeo1889 Abstract
Warm intervals within the Pliocene epoch (5.33-2.58 million years ago) were characterized by global temperatures comparable to those predicted for the end of this century(1) and atmospheric CO2 concentrations similar to today(2-4). Estimates for global sea level highstands during these times(5) imply possible retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet, but ice-proximal evidence from the Antarctic margin is scarce. Here we present new data from Pliocene marine sediments recovered offshore of Adelie Land, East Antarctica, that reveal dynamic behaviour of the East Antarctic ice sheet in the vicinity of the low-lying Wilkes Subglacial Basin during times of past climatic warmth. Sedimentary sequences deposited between 5.3 and 3.3 million years ago indicate increases in Southern Ocean surface water productivity, associated with elevated circum-Antarctic temperatures. The geochemical provenance of detrital material deposited during these warm intervals suggests active erosion of continental bedrock from within the Wilkes Subglacial Basin, an area today buried beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet. We interpret this erosion to be associated with retreat of the ice sheet margin several hundreds of kilometres inland and conclude that the East Antarctic ice sheet was sensitive to climatic warmth during the Pliocene.
New paleointensity results from rapidly cooled Icelandic lavas: Implications for Arctic geomagnetic field strength.
Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 120:2913-2934. 10.1002/2014jb011828 Abstract
The Earth's magnetic field is assumed to be a geocentric axial dipole (GAD) when averaged over sufficient time (10(5)-10(6)years). Recent investigations of global paleosecular variation and time-averaged field behavior on million year timescales generally support a predominantly dipole field in the Northern Hemisphere, but unique field structures at high southern latitudes suggest the presence of a substantial (g) over bar (0)(2) quadrupolar component. Average paleointensity results from Antarctica are approximately half the value predicted by a GAD field; this behavior has not been sufficiently investigated because there is a paucity of absolute paleointensity data from the high latitudes of the Arctic and Antarctic, so no adequate comparisons have been made between the two regions. We collected glassy volcanic material from 129 subaerial and subglacial volcanic units in Iceland in order to provide a suitable intensity data set at high northern latitudes. Forty-four sites met our very strict specimen and site level selection criteria. Four Holocene sites have a median intensity value of 55.8 +/- 15.6 mu T (virtual axial dipole moment=78.1 +/- 22.0ZAm(2)), consistent with the present-day field. Thirty-seven sites are between 11ka and 3.35Ma with a median intensity of 33.1 +/- 8.3 mu T (47.0 +/- 11.6ZAm(2)). This median intensity is indistinguishable from some long-term global field strength estimates. Reevaluation of existing high-latitude data suggests a general agreement with our Iceland results, but there are still too few Antarctic sites to adequately compare Arctic and Antarctic field behaviors.
Revised and updated paleomagnetic results from Costa Rica.
Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 14:3379-3388. 10.1002/ggge.20199 Abstract
Paleomagnetic results from globally distributed lava flows have been collected and analyzed under the time-averaged field initiative (TAFI), a multi-institutional collaboration started in 1996 and designed to improve the geographic and temporal coverage of the 0-5 Ma paleomagnetic database for studying both the time-averaged field and its very long-term secular variations. Paleomagnetic samples were collected from 35 volcanic units, either lava flows or ignimbrites, in Costa Rica in December 1998 and February 2000 from the Cordilleras Central and Guanacaste, the underlying Canas, Liberia and Bagaces formations and from Volcano Arenal. Age estimates range from approximately 40 ka to slightly over 6 Ma. Although initial results from these sites were used in a global synthesis of TAFI data by Johnson et al. (2008), a full description of methodology was not presented. This paper documents the definitive collection of results comprising 28 paleomagnetic directions (24 normal, 4 reversed), with enhanced precision and new geological interpretations, adding two paleointensity estimates and 19 correlated Ar-40/Ar-39 radiometric ages. The average field direction is consistent with that of a geocentric axial dipole and dispersion of virtual geomagnetic poles (17.34.6 degrees) is in general agreement with predictions from several statistical paleosecular variation models. Paleointensity estimates from two sites give an average field strength of 26.3 T and a virtual axial dipole moment of 65 ZAm(2). The definitive results provide a useful augmentation of the global database for the longer term goal of developing new statistical descriptions of paleomagnetic field behavior.
In search of long-term hemispheric asymmetry in the geomagnetic field : Results from high northern latitudes.
Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 14:3234-3249. 10.1002/ggge.20174 Abstract
Investigations of the behavior of the geomagnetic field on geological timescales rely on globally distributed data sets from dated lava flows. We present the first suitable data from the Arctic region, comprising 37 paleomagnetic directions from Jan Mayen (71 degrees N, 0.2-461 ka) and Spitsbergen (79 degrees N, 1-9.2 Ma) and five paleointensity results. Dispersion of the Arctic virtual geomagnetic poles over the last 2 Ma (27.34.0 degrees) is significantly lower than that from published Antarctic data sets (32.15.0 degrees). Arctic average virtual axial dipole moment (76.824.3 ZAm(2)) is high in comparison to Antarctica over the same time interval (34.88.2 ZAm(2)), although the data are still too sparse in the Arctic to be definitive. These data support a long-lived hemispheric asymmetry of the magnetic field, contrasting higher, more stable fields in the north with lower average strength and more variable field directions in the south. Such features require significant non-axial-dipole contributions over 10(5)-10(6) years.
Noise in the quiet zone.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 190:13-30. 10.1016/s0012-821x(01)00354-5 Abstract
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.