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  • E-Letter
  • Open Access

Paleomagnetic directions of the Gauss-Matuyama polarity transition recorded in drift sediments (IODP Site U1314) in the North Atlantic

  • 11Email author,
  • 11,
  • 11,
  • 21, 71,
  • 31,
  • 41,
  • 51, 81 and
  • 61
Earth, Planets and Space200860:BF03352845

  • Received: 4 April 2008
  • Accepted: 25 August 2008
  • Published:


The geomagnetic field direction during the Gauss-Matuyama (G-M) polarity transition was investigated from a high-accumulation-rate (≥10 cm/kyr) sediment core drilled in the Gardar drift in the North Atlantic at Site U1314 during Expedition 306 of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). A well-defined characteristic remanent magnetization was generally obtained by alternating field demagnetization. The consistency of the results with records from Icelandic lavas confirms that the North Atlantic drift sediments contain a high-fidelity record of the geomagnetic field change. During the G-M transition, the virtual geomagnetic pole (VGP) latitude shows north-south-north-south rebounding, with the three VGP paths falling within different longitudinal bands. Two of the three paths are close to or within the preferred bands in which transitional VGPs are suggested to be longitudinally confined. Three additional loops occur that approach mid-to-low latitudes from the North or South pole regions. In addition, the VGPs show rapid movement (directional jumps) between VGP clusters.

Key words

  • Geomagnetism
  • polarity transition
  • Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
  • Expedition 306
  • Site U1314