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Due to a dearth of data from high-latitude paleomagnetic sites, it is not currently clear if the geocentric axial dipole (GAD) hypothesis accurately describes the long-term behavior of the geomagnetic field at high latitudes. Here we present new paleomagnetic and paleointensity data from the James Ross Island (JRI) volcanic group, located on the Antarctic Peninsula. This data set addresses a notable lack of data from the 60°–70°S latitude bin and includes 251 samples from 31 sites, spanning 0.99–6.8 Ma in age. We also include positive fold, conglomerate, and baked contact tests. Paleointensity data from three methods (Thellier- Thellier, pseudo-Thellier, and Tsunakawa-Shaw) were collected from all sites. The Thellier-Thellier method had low yields and produced unreliable data, likely due to sample alteration during heating. Results from the Tsunakawa-Shaw and pseudo-Thellier methods were more consistent, and we found a bimodal distribution of paleointensity estimates. Most sites yielded either <15 μT or >40 μT, which together span a range of estimates from long-term geomagnetic field models, but do not favor any model in particular. Alternating-field demagnetization of these samples, when combined with preexisting data, yields a revised paleomagnetic pole of −87.5°, 025°, α95 = 3.6° for the Antarctic Peninsula over the last ∼5 Ma, which suggests that the current data set is sufficiently large to “average out” secular variation. Finally, the C2r/C2n transition was probably found at a site on JRI, and further geochronological and paleomagnetic study of these units could refine the age of this reversal.

Original Citation

Biasi, J., Kirschvink, J. L., & Fu, R. R. (2021). Characterizing the geomagnetic field at high southern latitudes: Evidence from the Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 126, e2021JB023273. https://doi. org/10.1029/2021JB023273