Paleomagnetic studies of thick lava series are one of the most reliable sources of data on the ancient geomagnetic field. However, most of such data are younger than 5 Ma, with much fewer results on the rest of the Cenozoic and the Mesozoic. Two wholesome results are available for the Precambrian but none for the Paleozoic. Late Permian basalts and rhyolites from northeastern Kazakhstan were studied to obtain first estimates of the geomagnetic-field characteristics during that period. We present preliminary results on part of the collection (66 flows (sites)) from a section ~1600 m thick. The characteristic component of reversed polarity was isolated by stepwise demagnetization at all the sites with a slight error. This component is of prefolding age and, most likely, primary. No abnormal magnetization direction is observed in the data, and the average directions of the characteristic component at the sites are tightly clustered (D = 243.3°; I = − 57.0°; k = 79.1; α95 = 2.0°; 65 sites). As compared with the published data on Cenozoic and Mesozoic thick lava series, secular variation was much weaker in the Late Permian than in the Mesozoic or Cenozoic, and the geomagnetic field was less disturbed. Secular-variation models based on the Late Cenozoic data show even more dramatic differences.

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