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Confounding influence of magnetic fabric on sedimentary records of a field reversal

Quidelleur, Xavier and Holt, John and Valet, Jean-Pierre (1995) Confounding influence of magnetic fabric on sedimentary records of a field reversal. Nature, 374 (6519). pp. 246-249. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/374246a0.

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RECENT compilations of geomagnetic reversal records have generated a controversy as to whether the geomagnetic field is geographically biased during polarity transitions. At present there is general agreement that the virtual geomagnetic poles recorded from Cenozoic sediments preferentially lie over the Americas (or the antipodal longitude), yet such a preference is not statistically established. However, it is intriguing that the claimed preferred paths lie 90° away from the site longitude. Although this may be partly inherent in the very poor geographical distribution of the sites, we prefer not to rely on fortuitous coincidences. Several authors have argued that sedimentary palaeomagnetic records may be modified by artefacts linked to the acquisition of magnetization. Here we report that in two sedimentary records of the Upper Olduvai reversal from Confidence Hills, California, the declinations of the remanent magnetization recorded during the reversal are similar to the directions of the maximum horizontal axes of the ellipsoids of magnetic anisotropy. This supports the idea that, at times of low geomagnetic intensity (such as during a reversal), factors other than the geomagnetic field influence the orientation of elongated grains.

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Additional Information:© 1994 Nature Publishing Group. Received 21 September 1994; accepted 3 February 1995. We thank J. P. Cogne, C. Lai and C. Richter for helpful suggestions and discussions, B. Henry for help with measurements and interpretations of the AMS, and R. Warner and C. Scrivner for assistance with field work. This work was supported by the French program CNRS INSU DBT Terre Profonde and the US NSF.
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Issue or Number:6519
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Official Citation:Confounding influence of magnetic fabric on sedimentary records of a field reversal 246-249 Xavier Quidelleur, John Holt & Jean-Pierre Valet doi:10.1038/374246a0
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58155
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:10 Jun 2015 18:25
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:00

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