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  • Article
  • Open Access

A relative paleointensity record of the geomagnetic field since 1.6 Ma from the North Pacific

Earth, Planets and Space200759:BF03352741

  • Received: 29 September 2006
  • Accepted: 10 February 2007
  • Published:


A paleomagnetic study was conducted on a sediment core KR0310-PC1 taken from the central North Pacific in order to obtain a relative paleointensity record in the Matuyama chron from this region. The core reached to about 1.6 Ma. The age control is based on the correlation of the S ratio (S−0.1T) variations with a global oxygen-isotope stack. Isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) was used as the normalizer of the relative paleointensity estimation; anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM) was not adopted because ARM is sensitive to magnetostatic interaction among magnetic particles, which is evidenced in these sediments by an inverse correlation between the ratio of ARM to saturation IRM (SIRM) and SIRM without significant magnetic grain-size changes. For the last 350 kyrs, the record of core NGC65, which was obtained at practically the same site as KR0310-PC1 and covers the Brunhes chron (Yamazaki, 1999), was incorporated because the upper part of KR0310-PC1 was physically disturbed. In the record of NGC65/KR0310-PC1, the average paleointensity in the late Matuyama chron is not lower than that during the Brunhes chron, which does not support the conclusion of Valet et al. (2005) based on their Sint-2000 stack. A spectral analysis on the NGC65/KR0310-PC1 paleointensity record shows a power at the 100 kyr eccentricity period. The relative paleointensity and magnetic properties of NGC65/KR0310-PC1 were compared with those of MD982185 from the western equatorial Pacific (Yamazaki and Oda, 2002, 2005). The two sites belong to different oceanographic regimes. Coherent variations in the relative paleointensity despite incoherent changes in the magnetic properties suggest that rock-magnetic contamination to the relative paleointensity is small, if any, and the 100 kyr period in the relative paleointensity records would reflect the geomagnetic field behavior.

Key words

  • Paleomagnetism
  • paleointensity
  • North Pacific
  • orbital modulation
  • normalizer
  • magnetostatic interaction