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Open Access

Paleointensities from Tertiary basalts, Inner Mongolia and Hebei Province, northeastern China

Earth, Planets and Space200759:BF03352737

Received: 3 October 2006

Accepted: 2 February 2007

Published: 20 July 2007


A paleointensity study using the Thellier’s method was made on Tertiary basaltic rocks in Inner Mongolia and Hebei Province, northeastern China. K-Ar ages were previously reported for all the rocks, which range around 6–8 Ma and 28–32 Ma. Sample selection was based on total quality of remanence behavior and rock magnetism. High stability to AF and thermal demagnetization, small difference between the heating and cooling curves of magnetic susceptibility vs. temperature measurements, and PSD to SD characteristics in the Day plot of the hysteresis parameters were required. Experiments in vacuum using Coe’s procedure were applied to 54 specimens from nine flows. Experiments were successful for 34 specimens, giving seven flow mean paleointensities. Excluding two flow means (in one flow, only two specimens from the same sample survived and in the other, the within-site error amounts to 42%) the final success rate was 29 out of 54 (54%), which is not low. The obtained results range from 54 to 65 μT, except for one lava which gave 23 μT. These results indicate that although the paleointensity in the Tertiary was generally smaller than the present-day value, there were large fluctuations in the dipole moment, and paleointensities of the present-day level were often attained.

Key words

PaleointensityTertiaryInner MongoliaChinabasalt