Refining Holocene geochronologies using palaeomagnetic records

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The aperiodic nature of geomagnetic field variations, both in intensity and direction, can aid in dating archaeological artefacts, volcanic rocks, and sediment records that carry a palaeomagnetic signal. The success of palaeomagnetic dating relies upon our knowledge of past field variations at specific locations. Regional archaeo- and palaeomagnetic reference curves and predictions from global geomagnetic field models provide our best description of field variations through the Holocene. State-of-the-art palaeomagnetic laboratory practices and accurate independent age controls are prerequisites for deriving reliable reference curves and models from archaeological, volcanic, and sedimentary palaeomagnetic data. In this review paper we give an overview of these prerequisites and the available reference curves and models, discuss techniques for palaeomagnetic dating, and outline its limitations. In particular, palaeomagnetic dating on its own cannot give unique results, but rather serves to refine or confirm ages obtained by other methods. Owing to the non-uniform character of magnetic field variations in different regions, care is required when choosing a palaeomagnetic dating curve, so that the distance between the dating curve and the record to be dated is not too large. Accurate reporting and incorporation of new, independently dated archaeo- and palaeomagnetic results into databases will help to improve reference curves and global models for all regions on Earth.

Details

Authors
  • Monika Korte
  • Maxwell C. Brown
  • Sydney R. Gunnarson
  • Andreas Nilsson
  • Sanja Panovska
  • Ingo Wardinski
  • Catherine G. Constable
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Iceland
  • University of Nantes
  • GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • University of California, San Diego
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology

Keywords

  • Archaeomagnetic dating, Geochronology, Palaeomagnetic dating, Palaeosecular variation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-74
Number of pages28
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
Volume50
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes