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Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research

Palaeointensity results from the Permo - Carboniferous Great Whin Sill, northen United Kingdom

Executive Summary
ResearchersDr A. Garcia
Dr N. Thomas
Funding Body/SourceKingston University
Duration2004 - 2006
Project SummaryA palaeointensity investigation conducted on the late Carboniferous - early Permian Great Whin Sill of the northern United Kingdom, using both conventional thermal Coe-Thellier and microwave methods.


A recent and detailed palaeodirectional study (Liss et al., 2004) presented convincing new data for the Great Whin Sill(GWS) of north-east England , suggesting that it was emplaced as three distinct intrusive bodies in separate magmatic pulses dated from the late Carboniferous to the early Permian. This is contrary to previous work which concluded that the complex was formed during one long pulse of activity in the late Carboniferous (Fitch and Miller, 1967). This new perspective presented an ideal opportunity for a complementary palaeointensity study from which new data could be generated to further test the multiple phase genetic models. Additionally, palaeointensity results from the GWS enhances data coverage in a sparsely-represented yet significant Permo-Carboniferous time window of the global palaeointensity record. Between 320Ma - 260Ma the geomagnetic field remained in reverse polarity. This is known as the Permo-Carboniferous (Kiaman) superchron. Palaeointensity data in this period data can provide further evidence to fuel the debate over the link between field strength and reversal frequency during superchons (e.g. Tarduno et al., 2006).


Garcia, A.S., Thomas, D.N., Liss, D. and Shaw, J. (2006) Low geomagnetic field intensity during the Kiaman superchron: Thellier and microwave results from the Great Whin Sill intrusive complex, northern United Kingdom. Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (16), L16308.

Garcia, A.S., Thomas, D.N., (2005) A comparison of Thellier and microwave palaeointensity results from dykes of the British Tertiary Igneous Provence. IAGA July 2005 Conference (Oral Presentation), Toulouse, France. ( Abstract, GAI.11, IAGA2005-A-01026)


Fitch, F.J. and Miller, J,A. (1967) The age of the Whin Sill. Geol. J Liverpool., 5, 233-250.

Liss, D., Owens, W.H. and Hutton, D.H.W., (2004) New Palaeomagnetic results from the Whin Sill Complex: evidence for a multiple intrusion event and revised virtual geomagnetic poles for the late carboniferous for the British Isles. J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 161, 927-938.

Tarduno, J. A., Cottrell, R. D. and Smirnov, A. V. (2006) The paleomagnetism of single silicate crystals: Recording geomagnetic field strength during mixed polarity intervals, superchrons, and inner core growth. Rev Geophys. 44 (1), RG1002.

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