Megan Allington

Doctoral Student

Research

Since observations began, large areas of the Earth’s magnetic field have been observed to be weakening rapidly. If the field continues to becomes weaker, objects in orbit, such as satellites, will soon require more shielding from harmful cosmic radiation in these areas. These direct observations we have of the Earth’s magnetic field span back over five hundred years but this is not long enough to know if these trends fit within normal variation or if they indicate something large-scale is happening, such as the start of a magnetic field reversal. For my PhD I am studying materials that indirectly capture the magnetic field, such as archaeological pottery, volcanic rocks and lake cores, with an aim to help extend and improve the quality of the record of the Earth’s magnetic field back to at least ten thousand years. This will allow us to increase understanding of these weak trends and to increase preparedness if necessary.