Sedimentary and Volcanic Records of the Laschamp and Mono Lake Excursions from Australia and New Zealand
Friday, 19 December 2014
Geomagnetic excursions are short-lived deviations of the geomagnetic field from the normal range of secular variation. Despite significant advances in geomagnetic excursion research over the past 20 years, fundamental questions remain concerning the typical duration and global morphology of excursional geomagnetic fields. To answer such questions, more high-resolution, chronologically well-constrained excursion records are required, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere. We present preliminary paleomagnetic records of the Laschamp (~41 ka) and Mono Lake (~35 ka) excursions from three marine sediment cores from the Bounty Trough, New Zealand margin, and complementary volcanic records of the Laschamp excursion from lavas of Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand. Relatively high sedimentation rates of 12 – 26 cm/kyr in the Bounty Trough during glacial periods allow identification of excursional field behavior at each of the studied core locations. Each core displays one or two excursional events, with rapid directional swings between stable normal polarity and reversed excursional directions, each associated with coincident relative paleointensity minima. These anomalous paleomagnetic directions are interpreted to represent the Laschamp and Mono Lake excursions, based on a combination of tephrochronology, radiocarbon dating, and cyclostratigraphy (defined from core-scanning X-ray fluorescence and magnetic susceptibility records). Beside these records, we present results from fourteen lava flows, on Mt Ruapehu, for which 40Ar-39Ar dating indicates ages of between 39 and 45 ka. The step heating 40Ar-39Ar experiments produced particularly flat age plateaus, with corresponding 2 s.d. errors mostly approaching 1 kyr. The youngest and oldest flows carry normal polarity magnetization, however six flows, dated between 41 and 43 ka, display transitional field characteristics. Three of these flows display a declination swing of around 180o, which coincides with a previously published result from the Auckland Basalt Field. Together, these data provide rare excursion records from the southern hemisphere, which will provide an improved view of geomagnetic field morphology during these excursions.