Skip to main content

Advertisement

We’d like to understand how you use our websites in order to improve them. Register your interest.

High-resolution evidence for dynamic transitional geomagnetic field behaviour from a Miocene reversal, McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica

Abstract

We report a high-resolution record of a Miocene polarity transition (probably the Chron C6r-C6n transition) from glacimarine sediments in McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica, which is the first transition record reported from high southern latitudes. The transition is recorded in two parallel cores through a 10.7 m stratigraphic thickness. The sediments are interpreted as having been deposited in a marine environment under the influence of floating ice or seaward of a glacier terminus from which a large sediment load was delivered to the drill site. The core was recovered using rotary drilling, which precludes azimuthal orientation of the core and determination of a vector record of the field during the transition. However, constraints on transitional field behaviour are provided by the exceptional resolution of this record. Large-scale paleomagnetic inclination fluctuations in the two cores can be independently correlated with each other using magnetic susceptibility data, which suggests that the sediments are reliable recorders of geomagnetic field variations. Agreement between the two parallel transition records provides evidence for highly dynamic field behaviour, as suggested by numerous large-scale inclination changes (90?) throughout the transition. These large-scale changes occur across stratigraphically narrow intervals, which is consistent with the suggestion of rapid field changes during transitions. In one intact portion of the core, where there is no apparent relative core rotation between samples, declinations and inclinations are consistent with the presence of a stable cluster of virtual geomagnetic poles within the transition (although the possibility that this cluster represents a rapid depositional event cannot be precluded). These observations are consistent with those from other high-resolution records and provide a rare detailed view of transitional field behaviour compared to most sedimentary records, which are not as thick and which appear to have been smoothed by sedimentary remanence acquisition processes.

References

  1. Bleil, U. and T. von Dobeneck, Geomagnetic events and relative paleointensity records—clues to high-resolution paleomagnetic chronostrati-graphies of Late Quaternary marine sediments?, in Use of Proxies in Paleoceanography: examples from the South Atlantic, edited by G. Fischer, G. Wefer, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 635–654, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bogue, S. W. and R. S. Coe, Transitional paleointensites from Kauai, Hawaii and geomagnetic reversal models, J. Geophys. Res., 89, 10341–10354, 1984.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Brown, L. L., J. C. Pickens, and B. Singer, Matuyama-Brunhes transition recorded in lava flows of the Chilean Andes: evidence for dipolar fields during reversals, Geology, 22, 299–302, 1994.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Cande, S. C. and D. V. Kent, Revised calibration of the geomagnetic polarity time scale for the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 6093–6095, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Cape Roberts Science Team, Studies from Cape Roberts Project: initial report on CRP-2/2A, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 6, 1–173, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Channell, J. E. T. and H. F. Kleiven, Geomagnetic palaeointensities and astrochronological ages for the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary and the boundaries of the Jaramillo subchron; palaeomagnetic and oxygen isotope records from ODP Site 983, Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond., 358, 1027–1047, 2000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Channell, J. E. T. and B. Lehman, The last two geomagnetic polarity reversals recorded in high-deposition-rate sediment drifts, Nature, 389, 712–715, 1997.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Clement, B. M., Geographical distribution of transitional VGPs: evidence for non-zonal equatorial symmetry during the Matuyama-Brunhes geomagnetic reversal, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 104, 48–58, 1991.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Clement, B. M., Dependence of the duration of geomagnetic polarity reversals on site latitude, Nature, 428, 637–640, 2004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Clement, B. M. and D. V. Kent, A southern hemisphere record of the Matuyama-Brunhes polarity reversal, Geophys. Res. Lett., 18, 81–84, 1991.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Coe, R. S., M. Prévot, and P. Camps, New evidence for extraordinarily rapid change of the geomagnetic field during a reversal, Nature, 374, 687–692, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Domack, E. W. and D. E. Lawson, Pebble fabric in an ice-rafted diamicton, J. Geology, 93, 577–591, 1985.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Dowdeswell, J. A., M. J. Hambrey, and R. Wu, A comparison of clast fabric and shape in late Precambrian and modern glacigenic sediments, J. Sedimentary Petrology, 55, 691–704, 1985.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Elverhøi, A., Ø. Lønne, and R. Seland, Glaciomarine sedimentation in a fjord environment, Spitsbergen, Polar Research, 1, 127–149, 1983.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Fielding, C. R., T. R. Naish, K. J. Woolfe, and M. A. Lavelle, Facies analysis and sequence stratigraphy of CRP-2/2A, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 7, 323–338, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Florindo, F, G. S. Wilson, A. P. Roberts, L. Sagnotti, and K. L. Verosub, Magnetostratigraphy of late Eocene—early Oligocene glaciomarine sediments from the CRP-3 Core, McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 8, 599–613, 2001.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Florindo, F, G. S. Wilson, A. P. Roberts, L. Sagnotti, and K. L. Verosub, Magnetostratigraphic chronology of a Late Eocene to Early Miocene glacimarine succession from the Victoria Land Basin, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Global Planet. Change, 45, 207–236, 2005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Hoffman, K. A., Long-lived transitional states of the geomagnetic field and the two dynamo families, Nature, 354, 273–277, 1991.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Hoffman, K. A., Dipolar reversal states of the geomagnetic field and core-mantle dynamics, Nature, 359, 789–794, 1992.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Holt, J. W. and J. L. Kirschvink, The upper Olduvai geomagnetic field reversal from Death Valley, California: a fold test of transitional directions, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 133, 475–491, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Jarrard, R. D., J. D. Brink, C. Bücker, T. Wonik, T. Wilson, and T. Paulsen, Bedding dips in CRP-2A, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 7, 261–270, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Kirschvink, J. L., The least-squares line and plane and the analysis of palaeomagnetic data, Geophys. J. Roy. Astron. Soc, 62, 699–718, 1980.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Laberg, J. S. and T. O. Vorren, The middle and late Pleistocene evolution of the Bear Island trough mouth fan, Global Planet. Change, 12, 309–330, 1996.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Laj, C, S. Guitton, C. Kissel, and A. Mazaud, Complex behavior of the geomagnetic field during three successive polarity reversals, 11–12 m.y. B.P., J. Geophys. Res., 93, 11655–11666, 1988.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Laj, C, A. Mazaud, R. Weeks, M. Fuller, and E. Herrero-Bervera, Geomagnetic reversal paths, Nature, 351, 447, 1991.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Langereis, C. G., A. A. M. van Hoof, and P. Rochette, Longitudinal confinement of geomagnetic reversal paths as a possible sedimentary artefact, Nature, 358, 226–230, 1992.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Lavelle, M., Strontium isotope stratigraphy and age model for the CRP-2/2A core, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 7, 611–619, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Lin, J. L., K. L. Verosub, and A. P. Roberts, Decay of the virtual dipole moment during polarity transitions and geomagnetic excursions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 21, 525–528, 1994.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Løvlie, R., Field-dependent postdepositional grain realignment in the pDRM process: experimental evidence and implications, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 85, 101–111, 1994.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. McFadden, P. L., C. E. Barton, and R. T. Merrill, Do virtual geomagnetic poles follow preferred paths during geomagnetic reversals?, Nature, 361, 342–344, 1993.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. McIntosh, W. C, 40Ar/39 Ar geochronology of tephra and volcanic clasts in CRP-2A, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 7, 621–630, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Naish, T. R., K. J. Woolfe, P. J. Barrett, G. S. Wilson, C. Atkins, S. M. Bohaty, C. J. Bücker, M. Claps, F. J. Davey, G. Dunbar, A. G. Dunn, C. R. Fielding, F. Florindo, M. J. Hannah, D. M. Harwood, D. K. Watkins, S. A. Henrys, L. A. Krissek, M. Lavelle, J. van der Meer, W. C. McIntosh, F. Niessen, S. Passchier, R. D. Powell, A. P. Roberts, L. Sagnotti, R. P. Scherer, C. P. Strong, F. Talarico, K. L. Verosub, G. Villa, P-N. Webb, and T. Wonik, Orbitally induced oscillations in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet at the Oligocene-Miocene boundary, Nature, 413, 719–723, 2001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Paillard, D., L. Labeyrie, and F. Yiou, Macintosh program performs time-series analysis, EOS Trans. AGU, 77, 379, 1996.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Passchier, S., Soft-sediment deformation features in core from CRP-2/2A, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 7, 401–412, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Paulsen, T. S., T. J. Wilson, D. Moos, R. D. Jarrard, and G. S. Wilson, Orientation of CRP-2A Core, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 7, 271–278, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Pike, C. R., A. P. Roberts, and K. L. Verosub, Characterizing interactions in fine magnetic particle systems using first order reversal curves, J. Appl. Phys., 85, 6660–6667, 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Powell, R. D., M. J. Hambrey, and L. A. Krissek, Quaternary and Miocene glacial and climatic history of the Cape Roberts drillsite region, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 5, 341–351, 1998.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Powell, R. D., L. A. Krissek, and J. J. M. van der Meer, Preliminary de-positional environmental analysis of CRP-2/2A, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica: palaeoglaciological and palaeoclimatic inferences, Terra Antartica, 7, 313–322, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Prévot, M., E. A. Mankinen, R. S. Coe, and C. S. Grommé, The Steens Mountain (Oregon) geomagnetic polarity transition 2: field intensity variations and discussion of reversal records, J. Geophys. Res., 90, 10417–10448, 1985a.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Prévot, M., E. A. Mankinen, C. S. Grommé, and R. S. Coe, How the geomagnetic field vector reverses polarity, Nature, 316, 230–234, 1985b.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Quidelleur, X. and J.-P. Valet, Paleomagnetic records of excursions and reversals: possible biases caused by magnetization artefacts, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 82, 27–48, 1994.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Quidelleur, X., J.-P. Valet, M. LeGoff, and X. Bouldoire, Field dependence on magnetization of laboratory-redeposited deep-sea sediments: first results, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 133, 311–325, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Roberts, A. P., Polarity transitions and excursions of the geomagnetic field, Rev. Geophys., Supplement, 33, 153–160, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Roberts, A. P. and M. Winklhofer, Why are geomagnetic excursions not always recorded in sediments? Constraints from post-depositional remanent magnetization lock-in modelling, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 227, 345–359, 2004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Roberts, A. P., W. T. Jiang, F. Florindo, C.-S. Horng, and C. Laj, Assessing the timing of greigite formation and the reliability of the Upper Olduvai polarity transition record from the Crostolo River, Italy, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L05307, doi:10.1029/2004GL022137, 2005.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Roberts, A. P., G. S. Wilson, F. Florindo, L. Sagnotti, K. L. Verosub, and D. M. Harwood, Magnetostratigraphy of lower Miocene strata from the CRP-1 core, McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 5, 703–713, 1998.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Roberts, A. P., C. R. Pike, and K. L. Verosub, FORC diagrams: a new tool for characterizing the magnetic properties of natural samples, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 28,461–28,475, 2000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Rochette, P., Rationale of geomagnetic reversals versus remanence recording processes in rocks: a critical review, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 98, 33–39, 1990.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Roperch, P., N. Bonhommet, and S. Levi, Paleointensity of the Earth’s magnetic field during the Laschamp excursion and its geomagnetic implications, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 88, 209–219, 1988.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Sagnotti, L., F. Florindo, K. L. Verosub, G. S. Wilson, and A. P. Roberts, Environmental magnetic record of Antarctic palaeoclimate from Eocene-Oligocene glaciomarine sediments, Victoria Land margin, Geophys. J. Int., 134, 653–662, 1998a.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Sagnotti, L., F. Florindo, G. S. Wilson, A. P. Roberts, and K. L. Verosub, Environmental magnetism of lower Miocene strata from the CRP-1 core, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 5, 661–667, 1998b.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Sagnotti, L., K. L. Verosub, A. P. Roberts, F. Florindo, and G. S. Wilson, Environmental magnetism of glaciomarine strata from the CRP-3 Core, Victoria Land Basin, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 8, 507–516, 2001.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Singer, B. S. and M. S. Pringle, Age and duration of the Matuyama-Brunhes geomagnetic polarity reversal from 40Ar/39Ar incremental heating analyses of lavas, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 139, 47–61, 1996.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Tric, E., C. Laj, C. Jehanno, J.-P. Valet, C. Kissel, A. Mazaud, and S. Iaccarino, High-resolution record of the Upper Olduvai transition from Po Valley (Italy) sediments: support for dipolar transition geometry?, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 56, 319–336, 1991.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Valet, J.-P., C. Laj, and P. Tucholka, High-resolution sedimentary record of a geomagnetic reversal, Nature, 322, 27–32, 1986.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Valet, J.-P., C. Laj, and C. G. Langereis, Sequential geomagnetic reversals recorded in Upper Tortonian marine clays in western Crete (Greece), J. Geophys. Res., 93, 1131–1151, 1988.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Van der Meer, J. J. M., Microscopic observations on the upper, 300 metres of CRP-2/2A, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 7, 339–348, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Verosub, K. L., F. Florindo, L. Sagnotti, A. P. Roberts, and G. S. Wilson, Environmental Magnetism of Oligocene-Miocene Glaciomarine Strata from the CRP-2/2A Core, McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 7, 599–608, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Wilson, G. S., A. P. Roberts, K. L. Verosub, F. Florindo, and L. Sagnotti, Magnetobiostratigraphic chronology of the Eocene-Oligocene transition in the CIROS-1 core, Victoria land margin, Antarctica: implications for Antarctic glacial history, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 110, 35–47, 1998.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Wilson, G. S., F. Florindo, L. Sagnotti, K. L. Verosub, and A. P. Roberts, Magnetostratigraphy of Oligocene-Miocene glaciomarine strata from the CRP-2/2A core, McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Terra An-tartica, 7, 631–646, 2000a.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Wilson, G. S., S. M. Bohaty, C. R. Fielding, F. Florindo, M. J. Hannah, D. M. Harwood, W. C. McIntosh, T. R. Naish, A. P. Roberts, L. Sagnotti, R. P. Scherer, C. P. Strong, K. L. Verosub, G. Villa, D. K. Watkins, P.-N. Webb, and K. J. Woolfe, Chronostratigraphy of the CRP-2/2A drillhole, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Terra Antartica, 7, 647–655, 2000b.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Wilson, G. S., M. Lavelle, W. C. McIntosh, A. P. Roberts, D. M. Har-wood, D. K. Watkins, G. Villa, S. M. Bohaty, C. R. Fielding, F. Florindo, L. Sagnotti, T. R. Naish, R. P. Scherer, and K. L. Verosub, Integrated chronostratigraphic calibration of the Oligocene-Miocene boundary at 24.0±0.1 Ma from the CRP-2A drill core, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Geology, 30, 1043–1046, 2002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrew P. Roberts.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Roberts, A.P., Bakrania, A., Florindo, F. et al. High-resolution evidence for dynamic transitional geomagnetic field behaviour from a Miocene reversal, McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica. Earth Planet Sp 59, 815–824 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03352744

Download citation

Key words

  • geomagnetic field behaviour
  • polarity reversal
  • glacial processes
  • Antarctica