Magneto- and cyclostratigraphy of marine sediments
Scientists: Edoardo Dallanave, Yang Zhang, Thomas Frederichs, Wanzhang Wang, Tilo von Dobeneck
Methods: Magnetostratigraphy, Relative Paleointensities, Cyclostratigraphy
Projects: INOPEX, DFG PP 1097, IODP

Topics: The Earth´s geodynamo and its product, the geomagnetic field, are some of the most dynamic features of Earth´s history. Geomagnetic pole positions, field intensities and polarities vary significantly at time scales between 100 and 100.000.000 years. Past magnetic field conditions have been recorded by cooling (mostly magmatic) rocks and consolidating sediments. This natural remanent magnetization forms the base of three paleomagnetic age dating methods - paleosecular variation, relative paleointensity and magnetostratigraphy - which enable us to date sediment sequences of continental margins as well as deep sea basins.

Geomagnetic field reversals in the history of human evolution

Eocene–Oligocene chronology of the SW Pacific
Scientists: Edoardo Dallanave, Tilo von Dobeneck
Projects: DFG Da 1757/2-1, IODP Exp 371 (Tasman Frontier Subduction Initiation and Paleogene Climate)

Summary: During the middle Eocene, the southwest Pacific was affected by widespread convergent deformation, reverse faulting and uplift, followed by major late Eocene–Oligocene subsidence. This event coincides with the onset of the Tonga-Kermadec subduction initiation, the developing of which may have significantly influenced the global climate trends. This is because a Pacific Plate westward-dominated subduction beneath oceanic crust, instead of subduction only occurring beneath the continental crust of the American cordillera, would result in a significant drop of CO2 volcanic degassing, modulating the shift from the early Eocene global greenhouse condition to the ensuing middle–late Eocene cooling. The first objective of IODP Exp. 371 was constraining in time this large-scale tectonic event. Preliminary data from six sites from the Tasman area show that the drilled sediments can pin in time the complex tectonic evolution of the area. Integration of this magnetic dataset with magnetostratigraphic records from coeval records exposed in New Zealand and New Caledonia will give a complete frame of the paleogeographic evolution of northern Zealandia.
Selected Publications:

Dallanave E., Bachtadse V., Crouch E., Tauxe L., Shepher C., Morgans H., Hollis C., Hines B., Sugisaki S. (2016)
Constraining early to middle Eocene climate evolution of the southwest Pacific and Southern Ocean
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 433, 380 - 392
doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.11.010

Dallanave E., Agnini C., Pascher K., Maurizot P., Bachtadse V., Hollis C., Dickens G., Collot J., Monesi E. (2018)
Magneto-biostratigraphic constraints of the Eocene micrite-calciturbidite transition in New Caledonia: tectonic implications
New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 61, 145 - 163
doi: 10.1080/00288306.2018.1443946

East African and Indian Ocean magnetostratigraphic studies (completed)
Scientists: Janna Just
Projects: IODP Exp 361 (Southern African Climates), DFG SFB 806

Summary: Paleomagnetic time-equivalent markers are of integral importance for the construction of age models for sedimentary archives. Reconstructions of the relative paleointensity of the Earth´s Magnetic Field are widely used for synchronizing sediment cores, throughout the last 1.5 Ma. Longer records of the strength of the ancient Earth´s Magnetic Field are rare. Sediment cores ranging back to the Pliocene have come available from IODP expedition 361 from the SE Indian Ocean. As the cores were retrieved from oligotrophic ocean basins, organic carbon content is very low, which is why magnetic minerals in the sediment cores have only marginally suffered from reductive early diagenesis, and the primary paleomagnetic signal is preserved. In this project the shipboard polarity magnetostratigraphies of IODP expedition 361 are being refined. Moreover, suitable marine and continental archives are utilized to produce (long) records of the relative paleointensity of the Earth´s magnetic field through the past 4 Ma.
Selected Publications:

Tangunan D., Baumann K., Just J., LeVay L., Barker S., Brentegani L., De Vleeschouwer D., Hall I., Hemming S., Norris R. (2018)
The last 1 million years of the extinct genus Discoaster: Plio–Pleistocene environment and productivity at Site U1476 (Mozambique Channel)
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 505, 187 - 197
doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.05.043

Lithology impact on Relative Paleointensity records (completed)
Scientists: Daniela Hofmann, Christine Franke, Karl Fabian, Tilo von Dobeneck
Projects: DFG SPP 1097 projects Do 705/1-1 and Fa 408/1

Summary: "Relative paleointensity" (RPI) is a relatively new high-resolution magnetostratigraphic technique tying calibrated sedimentary NRM intensity records to past fluctuations of geomagnetic dipole strength. The method assumes that the intensity of post depositional remanent magnetization (PDRM) depends exclusively on the geomagnetic field strength and the concentration of the magnetic carriers. Sedimentary remanence is regarded as an equilibrium state between aligning geomagnetic and randomizing interparticle forces. Just how strong these mechanical and electrostatic forces are, depends on many petrophysical factors related to mineralogy, particle size and shape of the matrix constituents.We have therefore systematically tested the reliability of the RPI method in different sediment facies and environments, finding that grain-size, matrix and diagenesis bias effects on RPI are sufficiently significant to warrant their consideration in the calibration procedure.
Selected Publications:

Hofmann D., Fabian K. (2009)
Correcting relative paleointensity records for variations in sediment composition: Results from a South Atlantic stratigraphic network
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 284, 34 - 43
doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2009.03.043

Franke C., Hofmann D., von Dobeneck T. (2004)
Does lithology influence relative paleointensity records? A statistical analysis on South Atlantic pelagic sediments
Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 147, 285 - 296
doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2004.07.004

Magnetostratigraphy in the Arctic and Southern Ocean
Scientists: Thomas Frederichs, Norbert Nowaczyk, Ulrich Bleil
Projects: in preparation (Thomas)

Summary: High geographic latitudes are highly interesting areas of paleomagnetic research under several aspects.
One of these is dating being an essential prerequisite of almost all paleoeceanographic or paleoclimatic research on marine sediments. Conventional dating tools that are usally applied to long sediment sequences like isotope stratigraphy are often unfeasable due to the lack of calcareous nannofossils or foraminifera in these areas. Thus there is large demand for alternative methods for age determination. Temporal variations of the geomagnetic field as a global signal may serve as an alternative or complementary tool.
Another aspect refers to the proximity of high latitude regions to the magnetic poles. It is still under debate whether the observation that geomagnetic excursions are apparently more frequently recorded in sediments deposited at high latitudes than in those from low latitudes is an artifact due to depositional conditions or a true feature of the Earth's magnetic field.
Selected Publication:
Hillenbrand C., Kuhn G., Frederichs T. (2009)
Record of a Mid-Pleistocene depositional anomaly in West Antarctic continental margin sediments: an indicator for ice-sheet collapse?
Quaternary Science Reviews, 28, 1147 - 1159
doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.12.010

Knies J., Matthiessen J., Mackensen A., Stein R., Vogt C., Frederichs T., Nam S. (2007)
Effects of Arctic freshwater forcing on thermohaline circulation during the Pleistocene
Geology, 35, 1075 - 1078
doi: 10.1130/G23966A.1






British Antarctic

British Antarctic

British Antarctic

British Antarctic

British Antarctic


Research group Marine Geophysics
Faculty of Geosciences | FB5