Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Geomagnetic Field Determined From the Paleomagnetism of Sediment Cores From Scientific Ocean Drilling

Friday, 19 December 2014
Gary Acton, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, United States
Quantifying the spatial and temporal variations of the main geomagnetic field at Earth’s surface is important for understanding underlying geodynamo processes and conditions near the core-mantle boundary. Much of the geomagnetic variability, known as secular variation, occurs on timescales of tens of years to many thousands of years, requiring the use of paleomagnetic observations to derive continuous records of the ancient field, referred to as paleosecular variation (PSV) records. Marine depositional systems where thick sedimentary sections accumulate at high sedimentation rates provide some of the best locations for obtaining long continuous PSV records that can reveal both the short- and long-term changes in the field. Scientific ocean drilling has been successful at recovering many such sections and the paleomagnetic records from these reveal how the amplitude of PSV differs between sites and through time. In this study, several such records cored during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), and other cruises from high, mid, and low latitudes will be used to quantify time intervals of low and high PSV, to examine time-average properties of the field, to map spatial variations in the angular dispersion of the virtual geomagnetic pole (VGP), and to assess whether the spatial variation in angular dispersion changes with time.