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Synfolding and prefolding magnetizations in the Upper Devonian Catskill Formation of eastern Pennsylvania

Miller, John D.; Kent, Dennis V.

The Upper Devonian Catskill Formation was sampled for paleomagnetic study in east-central Pennsylvania (41°N, 76°W). In one area the dominant component of magnetization (SE) is revealed over a broad spectrum of demagnetization temperatures ranging to at least 660°C. A conventional fold test is positive at the 99% confidence level. However, statistical analysis of dispersion with incremental bedding tilt correction shows a significant peak in the precision parameter after about 3/4 unfolding. The magnetization is therefore secondary, with a mean direction of D = 166.6°, I = -1.8°. The corresponding pole position (48.1°N, 124.1°E, a95 = 4.0°) is indistinguishable from paleopoles from earlier studies of the Catskill, which therefore can also be regarded as representing Permo-Carboniferous remagnetizations. A second component of magnetization (SW, pole position 32.8°N, 90.0°E, a95 = 7.2°) with discrete unblocking temperature spectra and southwesterly declination was isolated in a few samples from the first area and in most samples from a second area. A prefolding origin of this magnetization is supported by a positive fold test on five samples from the first area. If this magnetization does represent a Devonian magnetization then the true paleolatitude for east-central Pennsylvania is 16° +/- 7.2°S, which is consistent with the paleolatitude observed in many of the Upper Devonian rock units in the Acadia region, although inconsistent with others. The question of the position of Acadia relative to North America in the Upper Devonian is therefore still open.

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Also Published In

Journal of Geophysical Research

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Published Here
August 30, 2011