A detailed record of the Lower Jaramillo polarity transition from a southern hemisphere deep sea sediment core

Clement, Bradford M.; Kent, Dennis V.

A detailed record of the lower Jaramillo (reversed to normal) polarity transition was obtained from a southern hemisphere, deep-sea sediment core (latitude = 35.91°E, longitude = 59.97°E) The record consists of over 850 samples taken across 140 cm of section. The transition itself is recorded across approximately 70 cm and is represented by more than 475 specimens from about 160 levels giving intermediate directions. The transition is identified by a nearly 180° shift from directions in good agreement with a reversed, axial dipole field to those closely aligned with a normal, axial dipole field for the core site latitude. The inclinations shallow gradually early in the reversal and pass through very steep negative values (-80°) late in the transition. The declinations show little appreciable variation until the inclinations have moved through the near vertical, and then slowly approach values in agreement with a normal polarity field. An intensity low accompanies the directional change during which the intensity drops to less than 15% of the maximum values observed in this sample interval. The intensity fluctuation spans a wider interval than the directional change, decreasing prior to any systematic change in the directions and then increasing to pre-transition levels by the same depth at which the directions have stabilized. The VGP path constructed for this reversal is longitudinally constrained to a certain extent, between 140° and 230° for intermediate VGP latitudes and is roughly centered 120° from the site longitude. This path is therefore a far-sided VGP path in Hoffman's [1977] terminology. Assuming a constant sedimentation rate (67m/Ma) through the Jaramillo Subchron, the duration of the transition is estimated to be 11,200 years to 4,500 years (depending on the criteria) for the directional change, whereas the associated intensity variation occurred over 15,000 to 20,000 years. Considered together with records of the most recent reversal (Matuyama/Brunhes) in light of current transitional field models, this record strongly suggests that the lower Jaramillo transitional field was dominated by different harmonics than the Matuyam/Brunhes transitional field.



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