A negative test of orbital control of geomagnetic reversals and excursions

Kent, Dennis V.; Carlut, Julie

A ~41 Kyr periodic component has been reported in some sedimentary paleointensity records, allowing speculation that there may be some component of orbital control of geomagnetic field generation such as by obliquity modulation. However, no discernable tendency is found for astronomically-dated geomagnetic reversals in the Plio-Pleistocene (0 to 5.3 Ma) or excursions in the Brunhes (0 to 0.78 Ma) to occur at a consistent amplitude or phase of obliquity cyclicity, nor of orbital eccentricity. An implication is that paleointensity lows which are characteristically associated with these features are not distributed in a systematic way relative to obliquity and eccentricity, supporting the idea that orbital forcing does not power the geodynamo.



Also Published In

Geophysical Research Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Published Here
August 2, 2011