Characteristic wavelengths in VGP trajectories from magnetostratigraphic data of the Early Cretaceous Serra Geral lava piles, southern Brazil
Published:January 01, 2013
George Caminha-Maciel, Marcia Ernesto, 2013. "Characteristic wavelengths in VGP trajectories from magnetostratigraphic data of the Early Cretaceous Serra Geral lava piles, southern Brazil", Magnetic Methods and the Timing of Geological Processes, L. Jovane, E. Herrero-Bervera, L.A. Hinnov, B. Housen
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The virtual geomagnetic pole (VGP) trajectories during some geomagnetic polarity reversals of different ages are marked by anisotropic behaviour. This recurrent phenomenon may be reflected in the paleomagnetic data, even if the transitional field was not completely recorded. As the long-scale geomagnetic variations have a confined oscillatory character, the VGP paths from stratigraphically controlled sequences may be described on the basis of sine and cosine functions, even if time is not the independent variable. Here we considered longitude (or space) as the independent variable which had to be ‘unrolled’ to overcome the 360° repetitions as the VGPs moved around the geographic pole.
Sixteen VGP series from the Early Cretaceous Serra Geral lava flows of southern Brazil were analysed using a modified version of the periodogram for uneven data series, and a combination of information approach. The combination of all the spectra, as in a stacking procedure, reduces noise and results in a smooth curve highlighting features of interest. We found a set of highest correlation wavelengths of approximately 167, 190, 209, 257, 277 and 368°. Phase analyses using two different methods revealed strikingly good coherence for some of these wavelengths, indicating that they are not only artefacts of the spectral analysis. Similar analysis of magnetostratigraphic data from the Icelandic Magmatic Province indicated that the two datasets may have wavelengths of approximately 165 and 270° in common. These results suggest quasi-periodic behaviour, possibly with sub-harmonic instabilities owing to the modulating effect of inner Earth’s anisotropies influencing the pole trajectory.
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Magnetic Methods and the Timing of Geological Processes
Magnetostratigraphy is best known as a technique that employs correlation among different stratigraphic sections using the magnetic directions defining geomagnetic polarity reversals as marker horizons. The ages of the polarity reversals provide common tie points among the sections, allowing accurate time correlation. Recently, studies of magnetic methods and the timing of geological processes have acquired a broader meaning, now referring to many types of magnetic measurements within a stratigraphic sequence. Many of these measurements provide correlation and age control not only for the older and younger boundaries of a polarity interval, but also within intervals. Thus, magnetostratigraphy no longer represents a dating tool based only on geomagnetic polarity reversals, but comprises a set of techniques that includes measurements of geomagnetic field parameters, environmental magnetism, rock-magnetic properties, radiometric dating and astronomically forced palaeoclimatic change recorded in sedimentary rocks, and key corrections to magnetic directions related to geodynamics, palaeocurrents, tectonics and diagenetic processes.