Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

New constraints on the most significant paleointensity change in Western Europe over the last two millennia. A non-dipolar origin?

Abstract : Over the last years new evidences of several short-lived regional maxima of the geomagnetic field intensity at various times and locations have been defined. These features have important implications both for geomagnetic field modeling and for Earth's dynamo simulations. However, the nature, extent and underlying causes of these variations are still poorly understood. The major constraint for an adequate description of these important features is the absence of continuous detailed records and the current limited availability of precisely dated geomagnetic field recorders. In this context, archeological materials from superimposed strata covering long sequences of occupation provide a powerful tool to investigate the temporal variability of geomagnetic field strength at decadal and centennial time scales. In this work we report the archeomagnetic study of 79 potteries from Southeastern Spain collected in 14 different stratigraphic units. The chronological framework of the studied collection, ranging from the 9th to the 12th centuries, is based on historical/archeological data such as written sources and well-established typological and archeometric documentation on ceramics found on reference contexts in the area. Additionally, two radiocarbon dates obtained from two different stratigraphic units confirm the proposed chronological intervals. From classical Thellier and Thellier experiments including partial thermoremanent magnetization (pTRM) checks and TRM anisotropy and cooling rate corrections, height new high-quality mean intensities were derived. The new data provide an improved description of the sharp abrupt intensity decay that took place in Western Europe after the 800 AD intensity maximum, the most significant geomagnetic field intensity feature observed in Europe over the last two millennia. The new results confirm that several rapid intensity changes (with rates higher than 10 μT/century) took place in Western Europe during the recent history of the Earth. The comparison between the regional curve of Western Europe and the SHA.DIF.14k global field model predictions suggests that the 800 AD event observed in Europe is probably controlled by non-dipolar geomagnetic sources.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 9:12:46 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:47:23 AM



Miriam Gomez-Paccard, Marisa-Luisa. Osete, Annick Chauvin, Francisco Pavon-Carrasco, Manuel Pérez-Asensio, et al.. New constraints on the most significant paleointensity change in Western Europe over the last two millennia. A non-dipolar origin?. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2016, 454, pp.55-64. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2016.08.024⟩. ⟨insu-01362023⟩



Record views