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Title

An integrated palaeomagnetic, palaeointensity and 40Ar/39Ar investigation on a Miocene polarity transition recorded in a lava sequence in la Gomera, Canary Islands

AuthorsCaccavari, Ana; Calvo-Rathert, Manuel; Goguitchaichvili, Manuel; Soler, Vicente ; Huaiyu, He; Vegas, Néstor
KeywordsPalaeomagnetic secular variation
Rock and mineral magnetism
Palaeointensity
Reversals: process, time scale
Magnetostratigraphy
Issue DateMar-2015
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationGeophysical Journal International 200(3): 1297-1316 (2014)
AbstractA detailed palaeomagnetic, rock-magnetic and palaeointensity study has been carried out on a Miocene volcanic sequence which consists of 39 consecutive lava flows recording a polarity transition in La Gomera (Canary Islands, Spain). In addition, new 40Ar/39Ar ages were obtained in two flows, yielding 9.63 ± 0.06 Ma in the lower and 9.72 ± 0.08 Ma in the upper part of the sequence. Palaeomagnetic results allowed determining a ChRM direction in all studied lavas: The 25 lowermost flows of the sequence display normal polarity directions and above, a sequence of 14 flows correspond to a transitional geomagnetic regime. If considered together with palaeomagnetic results from a previous study, which were obtained on the flows immediately overlying the upper part of the sequence analysed in this work, these results indicate that the reversal recorded in the Hermigua sequence corresponds to the normal to reverse C4Ar2n to C4Ar3r polarity transition. The lower-lying 25 normal-polarity flows yield a mean direction D = 359.6°, I = 42.4° (α95 = 5.1°; k = 33) which agrees well with the expected values. Above, a sequence of 14 flows displays a more irregular directional behaviour, including several transitional directions, suggesting the occurrence of a precursor to the transition. The presence of a virtual geomagnetic pole (VGP) cluster in the western Atlantic Ocean observed in this study coincides with previous records of Miocene transitions. Interestingly, this region corresponds to a near-radial flux centre of the present-day non axial dipole field. Angular dispersion of VGPs calculated for the 25 lowermost normal polarity flows of the sequence shows a lower than expected result. Palaeointensity determinations were carried out using a Thellier type double heating method. 27 of the 48 analysed samples measured yielded successful results. Mean VDMs mean values range from 1.1 ± 0.5 to 8.8 ± 0.9 × 1022 Am2. The intensity values decrease significantly on approaching the directional transitional zone, suggesting an earlier start of the polarity transition in the intensity record, typical of a decreasing axial dipole.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggu481
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/180059
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/gji/ggu481
issn: 0956-540X
e-issn: 1365-246X
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