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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Experimental studies on remanence acquisition processes and regional geomagnetic field variability from archeointensity studies

  • Author(s): Mitra, Ritayan
  • et al.

The dissertation comprises two separate topics. Chapters 2 and 3 are experimental studies on remanence acquisition processes. Chapters 4 and 5 investigate the geomagnetic field variability in Africa and India between 1000 BCE and 1000 CE. Chapter 2 is a study in which the role of flocculation in sedimentary magnetization is analyzed with the help of laboratory redeposition experiments and a simple numerical model. At small floc sizes DRM acquisition is likely to be non-linear but it may record the directions with higher fidelity. In environments having bigger flocs the sediments are likely to record either intensities or directions with high fidelity, but not both. Also flocculation may inhibit a large fraction of magnetic grains from contributing to the net remanence and this might have consequences for intensity normalization in sediments. Chapter 3 presents a fresh perspective on the long standing debate of the nature of magnetocrystalline anisotropy in Mid-Ocean Ridge Basalts (MORBs). A new parameter, IRAT, defined as the ratio of the isothermal remanences in antiparallel directions is used to differentiate between uniaxial single domain grains (IRAT ̃1) and multiaxial single domain grains (IRAT <1). The theoretical predictions were first validated with standard samples and then multiple MORB samples were analyzed. The observed IRAT ratios indicate a dominant non -uniaxial anisotropy in the MORBs. Chapters 4 and 5 are archeointensity studies from two data poor regions of the world viz., Africa and India. With stringent data selection criteria and well established archeological constraints these datasets provide important constraints on the field intensity from 1000 BCE to 1000 CE in Africa and 500 BCE to 1000 CE in India. The African dataset has a higher age resolution than the Indian dataset. The African dataset matches well with the global CALS3k.4 model and shows significant non-axial-dipolar contribution in the region. The Indian dataset is not of a similar resolution but shows that the field might have dropped by as much as 40% in the first half of the first century BCE and remained low during the first century CE

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