The Magnetic Field of the Earth, 63

Paleomagnetism, the Core, and the Deep Mantle


  • Ronald Merrill, University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A.

Edited By

  • Michael McElhinny, Godwana Consultants, New South Wales, Australia
  • Phillip McFadden, Australian Geological Survey Organization, Canberra, Australia

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Students of introductory geophysics and geomagnetism courses. Geoscience researchers at universities and colleges worldwide.


Book information

  • Published: July 1998
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-491245-8


"It represents an excellent effort...and is probably the most up-to-date work available on Earth's magnetic field....The specific terms used are well explained and the mathematics are not overwhelming. For students beginning studies in the field of geophysics and the earth's interior, it is essential."
--M.S. Field, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in CHOICE

"This work is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the geomagnetic field. In addition, it has many useful descriptions of related topics that are recommended reading for anyone wishing to understand better the structures and processes within our planet."
--Prof. David Kloper, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute, Florida State University, in AMERICAN SCIENTIST

Table of Contents

History of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism: Discovery of the Main Magnetic Elements. Fossil Magnetism and the Magnetic Field in the Past. Investigations of the External Magnetic Field. Origin of the Earth's Magnetic Field. The Present Geomagnetic Field: Analysis and Description from Historical Observations: Magnetic Elements and Charts. Spherical Harmonic Description of the Earth's Magnetic Field. Uniqueness and Other Mathematical Problems. Geomagnetic Secular Variation. The External Magnetic Field. Foundations of Paleomagnetism: Rock Magnetism. Magnetic Mineralogy. Paleomagnetic Directions and Poles. Paleointensity Methods. Age Determinations. The Recent Geomagnetic Field: Paleomagnetic Observations: Archeomagnetic Results. Analysis of Recent Lake Sediments. Geomagnetic Excursions. The Geomagnetic Power Spectrum. Reversals of the Earth's Magnetic Field: Evidence for Field Reversal. Marine Magnetic Anomalies. Analysis of Reversal Sequences. Polarity Transitions. The Time-Averaged Paleomagnetic Field: Geocentric Axial Dipole Hypothesis. Second-Order Terms. Variation in the Earth's Dipole Moment. Paleosecular Variation from Lavas (PSVL). Processes and Properties of the Earth's Deep Interior: Basic Principles: Seismic Properties of the Earth's Interior. Chemical and Physical Properties. Thermodynamic Properties of the Earth's Deep Interior. Thermal History Models. Non-dynamo Models for the Earth's Magnetic Field. Fluid Mechanics Fundamentals. Energy Sources. Introduction to Dynamo Theory: The Dynamo Problem. The Magnetic Induction Equation. The a and w Effects of Dynamo Theory. Waves in Dynamo Theory. Symmetries in Dynamo Theory. Theories for Geomagnetic Secular Variations and magnetic Field Reversals. Dynamo Theory: Vector Spherical Harmonics. Kinematic Dynamos. Cowling's Theorem and Other Constraints. Turbulence in the Core. Dynamo Waves. Dynamics of the Geodynamo. The Magnetic Fields of the Sun, Moon, and Planets: Origin of the Solar System. The Sun. The Moon. Meteorites. Magnetic Fields of the Planets. Geomagnetic Relevance. Examples of Synthesis: Fluid Velocities in the Core. Core-Mantle Coupling: Length of Day. Paleomagnetism and Dynamo Theory. Variations at the Core-Mantle Boundary and the Earth's Surface. Appendices. References. Subject Index.