High-Latitude Geomagnetic Secular Variation and Paleointensity during 6-0.5 Ma: Paleomagnetic Results from Eastern Iceland

Friday, 19 December 2014
Arne Døssing, DTU Space, Lyngby, Denmark, Adrian R Muxworthy, Imperial College London, Earth Science and Engineering, London, United Kingdom, Conall Mac Niocaill, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom and Morten S Riishuus, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
Statistical analyses of paleomagnetic data from sequential lava flows allow us to study the geomagnetic field behaviour on kyr to Myr timescales. Previous paleomagnetic studies lack high-latitude, high-quality measurements and the resolution necessary to investigate the persistence of high-latitude geomagnetic field anomalies observed in the recent and historical field records, and replicated in some numerical geodynamo simulations. As part of the Time-Averaged Field Initiative (TAFI) project, lava sequences exposed in Nordurdalur (by Fljótsdalur) and Jökuldalur in eastern Iceland provide an excellent opportunity to improve high-latitude data suitable for investigating the 6-0.5 Ma TAF and paleosecular variation. These adjacent valleys, separated by 40 km, host a composite stratigraphic record of lava flows erupted from the Northern Rift Zone between 0.5 and ~6.5 Ma (one lava flow extruded every ~15-40 kyr). Hiatuses are present locally in the younger sections, at ~0.9 Ma and 2 Ma (spanning 200-400 kyr), that contain frequent hyaloclastites and sediments. In 2013, we collected a total of ~2200 cores (10-18 cores/site; mean = ~13 cores/site) from ~140 separate lava flows (165 in total) along eight stratigraphic profiles in Nordurdalur and Jökuldalur. In addition, hand samples were collected from ~70 sites to deliver new 40Ar/39Ar radiometric age determinations. We present the final results of AF- and thermal demagnetization of ~10 specimens/flow, comprising 165 (~140 distinct) paleomagnetic directions, along with updated composite litho-, chrono- and magnetostratigraphy of the exposed volcanic pile in Nordurdalur and Jökuldalur. We present the dispersion of the Arctic virtual geomagnetic poles over the last 6.5 Ma. In addition, we present a number of new IZZI paleointensity results from Jökuldalur. The geomagnetic results are compared and contrasted with other high-latitude data.