Proterozoic Geomagnetic Field Geometry
Pre-Mesozoic continental reconstructions and paleoclimatic inferences from paleomagnetism rely critically upon the assumption of a time-averaged geocentric axial dipole (GAD) magnetic field. We have been testing the GAD assumption and localized non-dipole components in a different manner, by observing directional variations within the Matachewan, Mackenzie and Franklin dyke swarms. Large dyke swarms, commonly emplaced within a few million years, provide the necessary broad areal coverage to perform a test of global geomagnetic field geometry. Our analysis varies the quadrupole and octupole values of the generalized paleolatitude equation to determine a minimal angular dispersion and maximum precision of paleopoles from each dyke swarm. As a control, paleomagnetic data from the central Atlantic magmatic province (CAMP) show the sensitivities of our method to non-GAD contributions to the ancient geomagnetic field. Within the uncertainties, CAMP data are consistent with independent estimates of non-GAD contributions derived from global tectonic reconstructions (Torsvik & Van der Voo, 2002). Current results from the three Proterozoic dyke swarms all have best fits that are non-dipolar, but they differ in their optimal quadrupole/ octupole components. Treated together under the hypothesis of a static Proterozoic field geometry, the data allow a pure GAD geodynamo within the uncertainty of the method. Current results were performed using Fisherian statistics, but Bingham statistics will be included to account for the ellipticity of data.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting in December, 2011
Scholar Commons Citation
Panzik, Joseph E. and Evans, David A. D., "Proterozoic Geomagnetic Field Geometry" (2011). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 2104.