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Title: Absolute Paleointensity Experiments on Aged Thermoremanent Magnetization: Assessment of Reliability of the Tsunakawa‐Shaw and Other Methods With Implications for “Fragile” Curvature

Absolute paleointensity (API) of the geomagnetic field can be estimated from volcanic rocks by comparing the natural remanent magnetization (NRM) to a laboratory‐induced thermoremanent magnetization (Lab‐TRM). Plots of NRM unblocking versus Lab‐TRM blocking from API experiments often exhibit nonideal curvature, which can result in biased estimates. Previous work showed that curvature can increase with age; however, selection criteria designed to eliminate such behavior yielded accurate estimates for two‐year‐aged specimens (70.3 ± 3.8 μT;N = 96 specimens out of 120 experiments). API can also be estimated in coercivity space. Here, we use the Tsunakawa‐Shaw (TS) method applied to 20 specimens aged in the laboratory field of 70.0 μT for 4 years, after acquisition of zero‐age (fresh) Lab‐TRM in the same field. Selection criteria for the TS experiment also yielded accurate results (68.5 ± 4.5 μT;N = 17 specimens). In thermal API experiments, curvature is related to internal structure with more single domain‐like behavior having the least curvature. Here we show that the fraction of anhysteretic remanent magnetization demagnetized by low‐temperature treatment was larger for samples with larger thermal curvatures suggesting a magnetocrystalline anisotropy source. We also tested experimental remedies that have been proposed to improve the accuracy of paleointensity estimates. In particular, we test the efficacy of the multi‐specimen approach and a strategy pretreating specimens with low field alternating field demagnetization prior to the paleointensity experiment. Neither yielded accurate results.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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