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Intensity of the Earth's magnetic field in Greece during the last five millennia: New data from Greek pottery

AuthorsTema, E.; Gómez-Paccard, Miriam ; Kondopoulou, D.; Almar, Ylenia
Thellier method
Issue Date2012
CitationPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 202-203: 14- 26 (2012)
AbstractNew archaeointensity results have been obtained from the study of four ceramic collections coming from four different archaeological sites in Greece. The ages of the ceramic fragments, based on archaeological constrains and radiocarbon analysis, range from 2200 BC to 565 AD. Low-field magnetic susceptibility versus temperature reveals a good thermal stability for most of the samples. However, for some samples the thermomagnetic curves are not reversible indicating mineralogical changes during heating. Isothermal remanent magnetisation (IRM) acquisition curves and thermal demagnetisation of three orthogonal IRM components have also been performed. The rock magnetic results identify magnetite and/ or Ti-magnetite as the main magnetic carriers in the studied samples. Classical Thellier experiments with regular partial thermoremanent magnetisation (pTRM) checks have been conducted on 125 specimens belonging to 34 independent ceramic fragments. Only 61 archaeointensity determinations (at specimen level) that correspond to linear NRM-TRM plots were used for the calculation of the site mean archaeointensities. The effect of the anisotropy of the thermoremanent magnetisation (TRM) and cooling rate upon TRM intensity acquisition have been investigated in all specimens. The maximum difference between the TRM anisotropy corrected and uncorrected intensities is around 30% at specimen level confirming that the TRM effect can be very important in ceramic samples. Cooling rate correction factors determined per specimen are up to 10% with only one exception that reaches 35%. Despite the moderate success rate of archaeointensity determination (around 50%) reliable mean site intensities have been obtained, with in situ intensities ranging from 53.6±4.1 to 69.3±3.9μT, corresponding to virtual axial dipole moments from 9.2±0.7 to 11.9±0.7×10 22Am 2. The new data are reasonably consistent with other available data for the studied region as well as with the SV reference curves for Greece and the South Balkan Peninsula, and the regional and global geomagnetic field models. Combined with previously published data from the area, they confirm that important changes of the Earth's magnetic field intensity occurred in Greece during the last five millennia. For some periods, the available archaeointensity data for the Balkan area show a large dispersion, even for data corresponding to high quality intensity standards, whereas for other periods their limited number prevents an accurate description of geomagnetic field intensity changes. This evidences the need of new reliable and well dated archaeointensity data in order to obtain a robust description of geomagnetic field intensity changes during the last five millennia in this area. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pepi.2012.01.012
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2012.01.012
issn: 0031-9201
Appears in Collections:(Geo3Bcn) Artículos
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