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  1. Abstract

    A foundational assumption in paleomagnetism is that the Earth's magnetic field behaves as a geocentric axial dipole (GAD) when averaged over sufficient timescales. Compilations of directional data averaged over the past 5 Ma yield a distribution largely compatible with GAD, but the distribution of paleointensity data over this timescale is incompatible. Reasons for the failure of GAD include: (a) Arbitrary “selection criteria” to eliminate “unreliable” data vary among studies, so the paleointensity database may include biased results. (b) The age distribution of existing paleointensity data varies with latitude, so different latitudinal averages represent different time periods. (c) The time‐averaged field could be truly non‐dipolar. Here, we present a consistent methodology for analyzing paleointensity results and comparing time‐averaged paleointensities from different studies. We apply it to data from Plio/Pleistocene Hawai'ian igneous rocks, sampled from fine‐grained, quickly cooled material (lava flow tops, dike margins and scoria cones) and subjected to the IZZI‐Thellier technique; the data were analyzed using the Bias Corrected Estimation of Paleointensity method of Cych et al. (2021,https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GC009755), which produces accurate paleointensity estimates without arbitrarily excluding specimens from the analysis. We constructed a paleointensity curve for Hawai'i over the Plio/Pleistocene using the method of Livermore et al. (2018,https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggy383), which accounts for the age distribution of data. We demonstrate that even with the large uncertainties associated with obtaining a mean field from temporally sparse data, our average paleointensities obtained from Hawai'i and Antarctica (reanalyzed from Asefaw et al., 2021,https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JB020834) are not GAD‐like from 0 to 1.5 Ma but may be prior to that.

     
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  2. Abstract

    Twenty‐two sites, subjected to an IZZI‐modified Thellier‐Thellier experiment and strict selection criteria, recover a paleomagnetic axial dipole moment (PADM) of 62.2 ± 30.6 ZAm2in Northern Israel over the Pleistocene (0.012–2.58 Ma). Pleistocene data from comparable studies from Antarctica, Iceland, and Hawaii, re‐analyzed using the same criteria and age range, show that the Northern Israeli data are on average slightly higher than those from Iceland (PADM = 53.8 ± 23 ZAm2,n = 51 sites) and even higher than the Antarctica average (PADM = 40.3 ± 17.3 ZAm2,n = 42 sites). Also, the data from the Hawaiian drill core, HSDP2, spanning the last half million years (PADM = 76.7 ± 21.3 ZAm2,n = 59 sites) are higher than those from Northern Israel. These results, when compared to Pleistocene results filtered from the PINT database (www.pintdb.org) suggest that data from the Northern hemisphere mid‐latitudes are on average higher than those from the southern hemisphere and than those from latitudes higher than 60°N. The weaker intensities found at high (northern and southern) latitudes therefore, cannot be attributed to inadequate spatiotemporal sampling of a time‐varying dipole moment or low quality data. The high fields in mid‐latitude northern hemisphere could result from long‐lived non‐axial dipole terms in the geomagnetic field with episodes of high field intensities occurring at different times in different longitudes. This hypothesis is supported by an asymmetry predicted from the Holocene, 100 kyr, and 5 million year time‐averaged geomagnetic field models.

     
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  3. Abstract

    The assumptions of paleointensity experiments are violated in many natural and archeological materials, leading to Arai plots which do not appear linear and yield inaccurate paleointensity estimates, leading to bias in the result. Recently, paleomagnetists have adopted sets of “selection criteria” that exclude specimens with nonlinear Arai plots from the analysis, but there is little consensus in the paleomagnetic community on which set to use. In this study, we present a statistical method we call Bias Corrected Estimation of Paleointensity (BiCEP), which assumes that the paleointensity recorded by each specimen is biased away from a true answer by an amount that is dependent a single metric of nonlinearity (the curvature parameter) on the Arai plot. We can use this empirical relationship to estimate the recorded paleointensity for a specimen where, that is, a perfectly straight line. We apply the BiCEP method to a collection of 30 sites for which the true value of the original field is well constrained. Our method returns accurate estimates of paleointensity, with similar levels of accuracy and precision to restrictive sets of paleointensity criteria, but accepting as many sites as permissive criteria. The BiCEP method has a significant advantage over using these selection criteria because it achieves these accurate results without excluding large numbers of specimens from the analysis. It yields accurate, albeit imprecise estimates from sites whose specimens all fail traditional criteria. BiCEP combines the accuracy of the strictest selection criteria with the low failure rates of the less reliable “loose” criteria.

     
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  4. Abstract

    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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  5. Abstract

    Beginning in 1964, an academic lineage of Robert DuBois and his students, Daniel Wolfman and Jeffrey Eighmy, developed dedicated United States‐based archaeomagnetic research programs. Collectively, they analyzed over 5,377 archaeomagnetic sites, primarily from North America, dated to less than 2,000 years old. Yet despite their decades of effort, few journal publications resulted. Most of their published results are embedded in archeological reports, often without technical data, which limits the data's accessibility. Furthermore, when published, the results are generally averaged at the site level using statistical conventions different from today's standards, limiting the data's comparability and (re)usability. In 2015, we undertook a salvage archival study to digitize the surviving data and metadata from the scientists' individual estates and emeritus collections. We digitized measurement data from more than 51,000 specimens, reinterpreted them using modern conventions, and uploaded them to the FAIR‐adhering magnetic data repository,earthref.org/MagIC. The reinterpreted site‐level results from the three laboratories are mutually consistent, permitting the individual data sets to be combined and analyzed as single regional entities. Through incorporation into the MagIC repository, these legacy data are now accessible for incorporation into archaeomagnetic and global magnetic field modeling efforts, critical to understanding Earth's magnetic field variation through time. In the Four Corners region of the United States Southwest, this digitized archive advances the development of a new regional paleosecular variation curve used in archaeomagnetic dating. This project highlights both the value and complexities of managing legacy data; the many lessons learned to set a precedent for future paleomagnetic data recovery efforts.

     
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  6. Abstract

    The theory for recording of thermally blocked remanences predicts a quasilinear relationship between low fields like the Earth's in which rocks cool and acquire a magnetization. This serves as the foundation for estimating ancient magnetic field strengths. Addressing long‐standing questions concerning Earth's magnetic field requires a global paleointensity data set, but recovering the ancient field strength is complicated because the theory only pertains to uniformly magnetized particles. A key requirement of a paleointensity experiment is that a magnetization blocked at a given temperature should be unblocked by zero‐field reheating to the same temperature. However, failure of this requirement occurs frequently and the causes and consequences of failure are understood incompletely. Recent experiments demonstrate that the remanence in many samples typical of those used in paleointensity experiments is unstable, exhibiting an “aging” effect in which the (un)blocking temperature spectra can change over only a few years resulting in nonideal experimental behavior. While a fresh remanence may conform to the requirement of equality of blocking and unblocking temperatures, aged remanences may not. Blocking temperature spectra can be unstable (fragile), which precludes reproduction of the conditions under which the original magnetization was acquired. This limits our ability to acquire accurate and precise ancient magnetic field strength estimates because differences between known and estimated fields can be significant for individual specimens, with a low field bias. Fragility of unblocking temperature spectra may be related to grain sizes with lower energy barriers and may be detected by features observed in first‐order reversal curves.

     
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  7. Abstract

    Reliability of magnetic recordings of the ancient magnetic field is strongly dependent on the magnetic mineralogy of natural samples. Theoretical estimates of long‐term stability of remanence were restricted to single‐domain (SD) states, but micromagnetic models have recently demonstrated that the so‐called single‐vortex (SV) domain structure can have even higher stability that SD grains. In larger grains (10 μm in magnetite) the multidomain (MD) state dominates, so that large uniform magnetic domains are separated by narrow domain walls. In this paper we use a parallelized micromagnetic finite element model to provide resolutions of many millions of elements allowing us, for the first time, to examine the evolution of magnetic structure from a uniform state, through the SV state up to the development of the domain walls indicative of MD states. For a cuboctahedral grain of magnetite, we identify clear domain walls in grains as small as ∼3 μm with domain wall widths equal to that expected in large MD grains; we therefore put the SV to MD transition at ∼3 μm for magnetite and expect well‐defined, and stable, SV structures to be present until at least ∼1 μm when reducing the grain size. Reducing the size further shows critical dependence on the history of domain structures, particularly with SV states that transition through a so‐called “unstable zone” leading to the recently observed hard‐aligned SV states that proceed to unwind to SD yet remain hard aligned.

     
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  8. Abstract

    We examine the behavior of natural basaltic and trachytic samples during paleointensity experiments on both the original and laboratory‐acquired thermal remanences and characterize the samples using proxies for domain state including curvature (k) and the bulk domain stability parameters of Paterson (2011,https://doi.org/10.1029/2011JB008369) and Paterson et al. (2017,https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1714047114), respectively. A curvature value of 0.164 (suggested by Paterson, 2011,https://doi.org/10.1029/2011JB008369) as a critical threshold that separates single‐domain‐like remanences from multidomain‐like remanances on the original paleointensity data was used to separate samples into “straight” (single‐domain‐like) and “curved” (multidomain‐like) groups. Specimens from the two sample sets were given a “fresh” thermal remanent magnetization in a 70 μT field and subjected to an infield‐zerofield, zerofield‐infield (IZZI)‐type (Yu et al., 2004,https://doi.org/10.1029/2003GC000630) paleointensity experiment. The straight sample set recovered the laboratory field with high precision while the curved set had much more scattered results (70.5 ± 1.5 and 71.9 ± 5.2 μT, respectively). The average intensity of both sets for straight and curved was quite close to the laboratory field of 70 μT, however, suggesting that if experiments contain a sufficient number of specimens, there does not seem to be a large bias in the field estimate. We found that the dependence of the laboratory thermal remanent magnetization on cooling rate was significant in most samples and did not depend on domain states inferred from proxies based on hysteresis measurements and should be estimated for all samples whose cooling rates differ from that used in the laboratory.

     
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  9. Abstract

    The Day diagram is used extensively in rock magnetism for domain state diagnosis. It has been shown recently to be fundamentally ambiguous for 10 sets of reasons. This ambiguity highlights the urgency for adopting suitable alternative approaches to identify the domain state of magnetic mineral components in rock magnetic studies. We evaluate 10 potential alternative approaches here and conclude that four have value for identifying data trends, but, like the Day diagram, they are affected by use of bulk parameters that compromise domain state diagnosis in complex samples. Three approaches based on remanence curve and hysteresis loop unmixing, whensupervisedby independent data to avoid nonuniqueness of solutions, provide valuable component‐specific information that can be linked by inference to domain state. Three further approaches based on first‐order reversal curve diagrams provide direct domain state diagnosis with varying effectiveness. Environmentally important high‐coercivity hematite and goethite are represented with variable effectiveness in the evaluated candidate approaches. These minerals occur predominantly in noninteracting single‐domain particle assemblages in paleomagnetic contexts, so domain state diagnosis is more critical for ferrimagnetic minerals. Treating the high‐coercivity component separately following normal rock magnetic procedures allows focus on the more vexing problem of diagnosing domain state in ferrimagnetic mineral assemblages. We suggest a move away from nondiagnostic methods based on bulk parameters and adoption of approaches that provide unambiguous component‐specific domain state identification, among which various first‐order reversal curve‐based approaches provide diagnostic information.

     
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  10. Feinberg, Joshua (Ed.)
    Twenty-two sites, subjected to an IZZI-modified Thellier-Thellier experiment and strict selection criteria, recover a paleomagnetic axial dipole moment (PADM) of 62.24$\pm$ 30.6 ZAm$^2$ in Northern Israel over the Pleistocene (0.012 - 2.58 Ma). Pleistocene data from comparable studies from Antarctica, Iceland, and Hawaii, re-analyzed using the same criteria and age range, show that the Northern Israeli data are on average slightly higher than those from Iceland (PADM = 53.8 $\pm$ 23 ZAm$^2$, n = 51 sites) and even higher than the Antarctica average %\cite{asefaw21} (PADM = 40.3 $\pm$ 17.3 ZAm$^2$, n = 42 sites). Also, the data from the Hawaiian drill core, HSDP2, spanning the last half million years (PADM = 76.7 $\pm$ 21.3 ZAm$^2$, n = 59 sites) are higher than those from Northern Israel. These results, when compared to Pleistocene results filtered from the PINT database (www.pintdb.org) suggest that data from the Northern hemisphere mid-latitudes are on average higher than those from the southern hemisphere and than those from latitudes higher than 60$^{\circ}$N. The weaker intensities found at high (northern and southern) latitudes therefore, cannot be attributed to inadequate spatio-temporal sampling of a time-varying dipole moment or low quality data. The high fields in mid-latitude Northern hemisphere could result from long-lived non-axial dipole terms in the geomagnetic field with episodes of high field intensities occurring at different times in different longitudes. This hypothesis is supported by an asymmetry predicted from the Holocene, 100 kyr, and five million year time-averaged geomagnetic field models. 
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