Test of the dipolar nature of the geomagnetic field throughout Phanerozoic time

Abstract

THE morphology of the geomagnetic field throughout the Earth's history is of interest first, in a general way, to geomagnetists in terms of long term implications concerning the Earth's core, its thermal regime and the motions in it, and, second, in a very particular way, to palaeomagnetists since the geocentric dipole model is universally used in mapping observed field directions into palaeomagnetic poles. Runcorn1,2 has given strong reasons for supposing the mean geomagnetic field to be symmetrical about the Earth's spin axis. He has also argued3, on the basis of early palaeomagnetic data, that a dipolar field coupled with continental motion is preferable to higher order axial multipole fields. Here I discuss an observational test, based on the much larger body of palaeomagnetic data now available, to discriminate between a dipole field and those of higher order multipoles.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Runcorn, S. K., Trans. Am. geophys. Un., 35, 49–63 (1954).

  2. 2

    Runcorn, S. K., Ann. Geophys., 15, 87–92 (1959).

  3. 3

    Runcorn, S. K., J. atmos. terr. Phys., 14, 167–174 (1959).

  4. 4

    Irving, E., Paleomagnetism and its Application to Geological and Geophysical Problems (Wiley, New York, 1964).

  5. 5

    Goldreich, P., and Toomre, A., J. geophys. Res., 74, 2555–2567 (1969).

  6. 6

    Hicken, A., Irving, E., Law, L. K., and Hastie, J., Publ. Earth Phys. Br., Energy, Mines Resour. Ottawa, Can., 45, 1–135 (1972).

  7. 7

    Opdyke, N. D., and Henry, K. W., Earth planet. Sci. Lett., 6, 139–151 (1969).

  8. 8

    Wilson, R. L., and McElhinny, M. W., Geophys. J. R. astr. Soc., 39, 570–586 (1974).

  9. 9

    Brock, A., Geophys. J. R. astr. Soc., 24, 303–317 (1971).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.