Geomagnetic field inclinations for the past 400 kyr from the 1-km core of the Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project

John W. Holt, Joseph L. Kirschvink, Florence Garnier

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37 Scopus citations


A volcanic record of geomagnetic field inclination for the past ∼400 kyr at Hilo, Hawaii, has been obtained from the 941.5 m of core recovered by the Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project. The analysis of 195 lava flows reveals six instances of near-zero inclination and two instances of fully negative inclination (reverse polarity) within an otherwise normal-polarity core. In particular, flow unit 23 (∼178 m depth) records a horizontal inclination and may be associated with the Laschamp event; flow units 40 and 42 (∼260 m depth) record negative inclinations and are close in age to the Blake event; and flow unit 55 (∼320 m depth) records a negative inclination with a relative declination change of ∼75° with respect to the overlying flow and is probably the Jamaica/Biwa I/Pringle Falls event. The five instances of shallow inclination found below 400 m depth appear to have resulted from long-term secular variation as they are part of inclination swings between ∼0° and ∼60° with a periodicity of ∼10-50 kyr. In contrast, the inclination shifts at ∼178 m and ∼320 m depths significantly deviate from long-term trends, suggesting the existence of at least two independent processes producing time variations of the geomagnetic field. The secular variation has a mean of 30.9° (α95 = 2.27°), which is significantly shallower than the expected dipole mean of 36°. The dispersion (σ = 12.5°) agrees with global paleosecular variation data for 0-5 Ma and secular variation models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11655-11663
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 10 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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