Geomagnetic Excursions and Secular Variations

A. P. Roberts*, G. M. Turner

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The Earth's magnetic field varies on a range of timescales that are useful for dating Quaternary rocks and sediments. Decadal- to millennial-scale geomagnetic variations can provide precise age constraints through paleomagnetic identification of paleosecular variations (most useful in the Holocene), relative paleointensity variations (useful throughout the Quaternary), geomagnetic excursions (generally most useful for stratigraphic correlation when accompanied by additional chronological constraints), and polarity reversals (useful between 2.59 and 0.78. Ma). These geomagnetic variations can generally provide chronological precision to within a few ka (or better). Paleomagnetism is therefore a key Quaternary dating technique.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Quaternary Science
    Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
    PublisherElsevier Inc.
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9780444536433
    ISBN (Print)9780444536426
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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