Open Access

Paleomagnetism of the late Quaternary Ontake Volcano, Japan: directions, intensities, and excursions

Earth, Planets and Space201455:BF03351748

Received: 14 August 2002

Accepted: 31 March 2003

Published: 20 June 2014


Study of paleosecular variation was carried out to mostly andesite lavas from the late Quaternary Ontake Volcano which have detailed stratigraphy and accurate radiometric ages. Among 42 sites, some of the results from lava successions were combined due to possible equivalent ages, remaining 35 sites. After excluding two low latitude VGPs, angular dispersion of 15.6° was obtained for a period which is accurately confined between 20 ka and 90 ka. The obtained angular dispersion is not different from the typical value for the last 5 my, and this is not surprising if we consider that the global paleointensity was not necessarily low and rather oscillatory during the period of 40–100 ka which precedes the global low in 20–40 ka. Two low latitude VGPs from 48 ka lava (41.9°N, 196.2°E) and 80 ka lava (15.9°N, 183.3°E) indicate existence of excursions in Japan during the latest Pleistocene. Preliminary paleointensity experiments indicate that the 80 ka excursion is accompanied by a low paleointensity of about 5 μT while the 48 ka one is not. These two excursions are probably related to those reported previously not only from the Ontake Volcano and its proximity but also from other several sites in Japan, although they were not conclusive. The 48 ka excursion probably correlates to the Laschamp excursion. This is consistent with the fact that the VGP position from the 48 ka lava comes to the central Pacific region, similar to those from the Laschamp excursion found in New Zealand. Possible correlation of the 80 ka excursion is the one from Norwegian-Greenland Sea and Arctic Ocean, which are stratigraphically between the Laschamp and the Blake excursions.

Key words

Paleosecular variation paleointensity Ontake Volcano excursion Laschamp Blake