Abstract

Paleomagnetic and K/Ar whole rock absolute age data are described for material from the Garian area of Libya, centered at 13°E, 32°N. Within-unit cleaned paleomagnetic directions from the essentially unaltered lavas are very well defined and can almost certainly be taken as reliable measurements of the geomagnetic field direction during the initial cooling of each flow. However, the distributions of mean direction, from which the effect of repeated sampling of the field at one time has been removed, does not suggest that a reversing axial dipole field has been recorded in a representative manner. Both N and R groups of directions are azimuthally elongated, and the average poles for the N and R groups differ by 21°, or four times the 95% level uncertainty for each average pole. A number of possible physical explanations for the paleomagnetic results are discussed. The conventional overall average pole at 88°N, 123°E, δp: 3°, δm: 7 °does not differ significantly from the geographic pole, a result which agrees closely with that of Schult and Soffel (1973). However, the value of these overall average poles in estimating absolute plate motion must await an understanding of the sources of the asymmetries in the paleomagnetic data.

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