High-resolution paleomagnetic records from Holocene sediments from the Palmer Deep, Western Antartic Peninsula

Stefanie Brachfeld, Gary D. Acton, Yohan Guyodo, Subir K. Banerjee

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34 Scopus citations


Thick Holocene sedimentary sections (> 45 m) cored in the Palmer Deep by the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) and during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 178 provide the first opportunity to examine past geomagnetic field behavior at high southern latitudes. After removal of a low-coercivity drilling overprint the sediments display a stable, single-component remanent magnetization. Two short cores that recovered the uppermost 2.6 m of sediment have inclinations that fluctuate about the present day inclination (-57°) measured at Faraday Station, and several features with wavelengths of 10 to 20 cm appear to be correlative. However, shipboard measurements of inclination fluctuations on split-core samples from three holes drilled at ODP Site 1098 do not correlate well with each other, even though the intensity and susceptibility data correlate very well and the overall mean inclination for cores from each hole is consistent with the expected geocentric axial dipole (GAD) inclination. The correlation is improved dramatically by using inclinations measured on u-channels taken from the pristine center of a split core. Consequently, the anomalous directions and the resulting poor between-hole correlation of inclinations obtained from shipboard data can be attributed to coring-induced deformation, which is common on the outer edge of ODP piston cores, and/or measurement artifacts in the split-core data. Our preferred inclination record is thus derived from u-channel results. The upper ~ 25 m represents continuous sedimentation over the past 9000 yr, with an average sedimentation rate exceeding 250 cm/kyr (0.25 cm/yr). Given that remanence measurements on u-channels average over an interval < 7 cm long, we obtained independent measurements of the paleo-geomagnetic field that average over only ~ 30 yr. This high-resolution record is characterized by an inclination that fluctuates within ± 15°of the current GAD inclination. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-441
Number of pages13
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Antartic Peninsula
  • Magnetic minerals
  • Magnetic susceptibility
  • Paleoclimatology


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