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The Mesozoic and Paleogene pelagic carbonate rocks of the Northern Apennines have proved to be a fertile source for paleomagnetic research. Investigations of the magnetic properties of the Scaglia limestones illuminated the processes by which they were magnetized. Their directions of remanent magnetization contributed to an understanding of the geodynamic history of Adria as a promontory of the African plate and have been used to refine the Mesozoic part of the African polar wander path. Magnetic stratigraphy in the Umbrian sequence and in similar facies in the southern Alps has established an independent record of geomagnetic polarity history since the Middle Jurassic. Correlation with the record derived from interpretation of oceanic magnetic anomalies mutually confirmed the global nature of the polarity history. This enabled the dating of plate motions and the development of a geomagnetic polarity time scale for the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic.

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