The magnetism of speleothems: applications in environmental and geomagnetic studies
IPGP - Îlot Cuvier
Séminaires communs Géomagnétisme-Paléomagnétisme
University of Cambridge
Speleothems are a relatively untapped reservoir of paleomagnetic and rock magnetic information. Speleothems have immense potential for archiving high quality, high resolution geomagnetic records, and can be dated with supreme precision using radioisotopic techniques. The recently resurrected research field of speleothem magnetism investigates the fundamental processes involved in natural remanence acquisition in speleothems using rock magnetic and microscopic imaging techniques, and establishes chronological constraints for recorded geomagnetic and environmental magnetic events. Recent instrumental progress provides the sensitivity and sample handling capabilities needed to collect a rich variety of magnetic measurements from speleothems, at an unprecedented spatial resolution. Precisely dated paleomagnetic records from speleothems may contribute valuable information to geodynamo models that focus on small-scale core flow dynamics, help constraining time-dependent, global geomagnetic field models, and aid in refining the geomagnetic polarity time scale. The environmental magnetic records of speleothems may help bridging the gap that exists between climatic and environmental interpretations from traditional speleothem measurements such as oxygen isotopes, and the environmental magnetic records of other depositional environments.