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Geomagnetic field variations in Western Europe from 1500BC to 200AD. Part I: Directional secular variation curve

Abstract : To improve the geomagnetic field secular variation curve (SVC) of Western Europe during protohistoric times, archaeomagnetic directions of 39 archaeological kilns or hearths from France were investigated. The dating of each archaeological structure was established with archaeological or chronometric methods. Thirty-seven of these structures are dated from the first millennium BC, one from the end of the second millennium BC and the last one from the fourth millennium BC. Thermomagnetic curves, unblocking temperatures and coercivities suggest that the main carrier of the remanent magnetization is a Ti-poor titanomagnetite. Archaeodirections were obtained by alternating field and thermal demagnetizations on almost 900 specimens. The anisotropy tensor of thermoremanent magnetization was determined for 35 structures and 22 mean archaeodirections were corrected for anisotropy. The new archaeodirections are very consistent with previously published data. A new directional SVC was built using bivariate statistics with selected Western Europe data located within 1000 km of Paris. Selection criteria include the number of samples, the dating reliability and the accuracy of the mean archaeodirection. Resulting secular variation between 1500BC and 0AD mainly shows large changes in declination, while inclinations are bracketed between ∼65° and ∼75°. The declinations show a strong maximum with values ∼30-35° around 800-750BC, followed by a sharp decrease to values around 0° at 500BC and close to −7° around 250BC. The main features of the secular variation from 1500BC to 0AD appear to be a dominant westward drift and two major changes around 800 and 250BC. Compared to the global and regional geomagnetic models, the new reference data are better fitted by ARCH3k_cst.1 and SCHA.DIF.3k than by ARCH3k.1 and CALS3k.4 models. The strong variation of the archaeodirection between 1000 and 500BC makes archaeomagnetism very useful for dating purposes.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 8:52:13 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 27, 2020 - 12:41:14 PM

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Gwenaël Hervé, Annick Chauvin, Philippe Lanos. Geomagnetic field variations in Western Europe from 1500BC to 200AD. Part I: Directional secular variation curve. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, Elsevier, 2013, 218, pp.1-13. ⟨10.1016/j.pepi.2013.02.002⟩. ⟨insu-00843289⟩

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