Absolute geomagnetic paleointensity as recorded by ~1.09 Ga Lake Shore Traps (Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan)

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Absolute geomagnetic paleointensity measurements were made on 255 samples from 38 lava flows of the ~1.09 Ga Lake Shore Traps exposed on the Keweenaw Peninsula (Michigan, USA). Samples from the lava flows yield a well-defined characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) component within a ~375°C-590°C unblocking temperature range. Detailed rock magnetic analyses indicate that the ChRM is carried by nearly stoichiometric pseudo-single-domain magnetite and/or low-Ti titanomagnetite. Scanning electron microscopy reveals that the (titano)magnetite is present in the form of fine intergrowths with ilmenite, formed by oxyexsolution during initial cooling. Paleointensity values were determined using the Thellier double-heating method supplemented by low-temperature demagnetization in order to reduce the effect of magnetic remanence carried by large pseudosingle-domain and multidomain grains. One hundred and two samples from twenty independent cooling units meet our paleointensity reliability criteria and yield consistent paleofield values with a mean value of 26.3 ± 4.7μT, which corresponds to a virtual dipole moment of 5.9 ± 1.1×1022 Am2. The mean and range of paleofield values are similar to those of the recent Earth's magnetic field and incompatible with a "Proterozoic dipole low". These results are consistent with a stable compositionally-driven geodynamo operating by the end of Mesoproterozoic. © 2013 Institute of Geophysics of the ASCR, v.v.i.

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Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica