- Print ISBN 9780124833555
- Electronic ISBN 9780080513461
Paleomagnetism is the study of the fossil magnetism in rocks. It has been paramount in determining that the continents have drifted over the surface of the Earth throughout geological time. The fossil magnetism preserved in the ocean floor has demonstrated how continental drift takes place through the process of sea-floor spreading. The methods and techniques used in paleomagnetic studies of continental rocks and of the ocean floor are described and then applied to determining horizontal movements of the Earth's crust over geological time. An up-to-date review of global paleomagnetic data enables 1000 million years of Earth history to be summarized in terms of the drift of the major crustal blocks over the surface of the Earth.
The first edition of McElhinny's book was heralded as a "classic and definitive text." It thoroughly discussed the theory of geomagnetism, the geologic reversals of the Earth's magnetic field, and the shifting of magnetic poles. In the 25 years since the highly successful first edition of Palaeomagnetism and Plate Tectonics (Cambridge, 1973) the many advances in the concepts, methodology, and insights into paleomagnetism warrant this new treatment. This completely updated and revised edition of Paleomagnetism: Continents and Oceans will be a welcome resource for a broad audience of earth scientists as well as laypeople curious about magnetism, paleogeography, geology, and plate tectonics.
Because the book is intended for a wide audience of geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers, it balances the mathematical and descriptive aspects of each topic.
"Overall, there are many impressive things about this book. The concise writing style, objective assessment of data, rigorous numerical analysis, and the shear breadth of material covered all combine to convey an overwhelming sense of authority. However, what pleased me most was the way in which it grew from the nuts and bolts of geomagnetic and paleomagnetic measurements and analyses, to finish with something approaching a unified theory of a billion years of geological history. In the end, I was enthralled!" --Brad Pillans, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra
"McElhinny and McFadden's work follows up the excellent volume, The Magnetic Field of the Earth: Paleomagnetism, the Core, and the Deep Mantle, by Ronald T. Merrill, McElhinny, and McFadden (CH, Feb '97), which necessitates some overlap. It represents an excellent effort by the authors... It is probably the most up-to-date work available paleomagnetism. ...the best book for teaching paleomagnetism. Upper-division undergraduates and up." --M.S. Field, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;CHOICE MAGAZINE, 2000
"The book focuses more on natural aspects of paleomagnetism and its importance for geology. Some fields, e.g., statistical methods in paleomagnetism and paleomagnetism of the oceanic floor are covered extensively, showing current state-of-the-art to the extent hardly met in other geophysical books. This book also has its own well balanced scientific philosophy which is based on well selected, firm observations." --Pure and Applied Geophysics, 158, 2001