Constraints Imposed by the Shape of Marine Magnetic Anomalies on the Magnetic Source

Cande, Steven C.; Kent, Dennis V.

A two-layer source model for marine magnetic anomalies can accommodate several observations made on the shapes of anomalies in the Pacific and southeast Indian oceans. The layers are defined on the basis of cooling history and magnetic properties. The upper layer consists of rapidly cooled basalts, which acquire a strong magnetization near the ridge axis. This layer, with narrow transition zones, can account for the observed short polarity events. The lower layer consists of moderately magnetized, slowly cooled intrusive rocks in the lower oceanic crust. The transition zones in this layer are broad, sloping boundaries reflecting the delayed acquisition of magnetization with depth as, for example, along a sloping Curie point isotherm. The lower layer can account for a skewness discrepancy of 10°-15° in the observed skewness of some anomalies. It is shown that the upper layer has to contribute about three quarters of the total amplitude of magnetic anomalies in order for this model to simulate the observed shape of the anomalies. The model predicts that a deep drill hole located just to the older side of a reversal boundary in the upper part of the oceanic crust should encounter a magnetization polarity reversal within the lower oceanic crust.


Also Published In

Journal of Geophysical Research

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Published Here
August 29, 2011