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Latitudinal dependency of geomagnetic polarity transition durations

Clement, Bradford M.; Kent, Dennis V.

Palaeomagnetic records of the Matuyama-Brunhes polarity transition were obtained from seven, low sedimentation rate, deepsea cores from the Pacific Ocean. The cores were taken near the 180° meridian and provide a latitudinal transect of transition records extending from 45.3° N to 33.4° S. Examination of these records suggests that low sedimentation rate cores may not be capable of recording the fine details of transitional field behaviour, but there are indications that these cores may, in fact, provide accurate records of the more general features of the reversal. Most notable of these features is that the duration of the transition is dependent on the site latitude, with durations at mid-latitudes being more than a factor of 2 longer than at equatorial latitudes.

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Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
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January 20, 2012