2014: Year in review

New Research Projects

Andrew Roberts commenced a 3 year ARC Discovery Project: Driving a palaeomagnetic revolution: geophysical and environmental signals from magnetic biominerals.

Liao Chang, David Heslop and Andrew Roberts commenced an ANZIC project: Constraining the origin and environmental impacts of Eocene hyperthermal events by mineral magnetic analyse.

International Visitors & Collaborators

Pengxiang Hu, joint ANU and Chinese Academy of Science PhD student, working on the magnetism of Australian soils.

Xiaoqing Pan, PhD student from Zhejiang University, working on Late Cretaceous mafic dyke swarms in coastal southeastern China.

Dr Bin Wang, lecturer from Northwest University, Xi’an, working on Paleozoic reconstructions of Pangea.

Professor Yongxin Pan & Dr Wei Lin from the Chinese Academy of Science, performed fieldwork to collect magnetotactic bacteria from lakes in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT.

New Group Members

Dr Xiao Zhang, Scientific Officer, Black Mountain Palaeomagnetism Laboratory.

Invited Conference Presentations

A. P. Roberts, Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, 11th Annual Meeting, Sapporo, Japan.

D. Heslop, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

D. Heslop, 10th Santa Fe Meeting on Rock Magnetism, Santa Fe, USA.

L. Chang, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

L. Chang, 10th Santa Fe Meeting on Rock Magnetism, Santa Fe, USA

Conference Session Organization

A. P. Roberts, co-convenor, Environmental Magnetism session, AGU Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

A. P. Roberts, co-convenor, Paleomagnetism session, Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, 11th Annual Meeting, Sapporo, Japan.

2014 Research Highlight

In collaboration with Malcolm Sambridge and Rhys Hawkins from the Seismology & Mathematical Geophysics group, Lizzie Ingham used a novel method to test for a link between geomagnetic field intensity and polarity reversal frequency. Lizzie employed a new tool for objectively analyzing paleomagnetic time series to test the hypothesis of an inverse correlation between reversal frequency and paleointensity. Transdimensional Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques were applied to a quality-filtered version of the global paleointensity database for the last 202 million years to model long-term paleointensity behavior (Figure 1). Statistical tests indicate no significant correlation between reversal frequency and field intensity. However, this result may due to the characteristics of the database and concerted efforts to increase the number of high-quality, well-dated paleointensity data are required before conclusions can be confidently drawn. This work was published in; Ingham, E., D. Heslop, A. P. Roberts, R. Hawkins and M. Sambridge (2014), Is there a link between geomagnetic reversal frequency and paleointensity? A Bayesian approach, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 119, 5290-5304, doi:10.1002/2014JB010947.

(a) Paleomagnetic reversal frequency for the last 170 Myr, calculated from the Geomagnetic Polarity Timescale (striped bar). (b) Mean geomagnetic field intensity model (blue) derived from the global paleointensity database (diamonds). Although reversal frequency varies through time, the geomagnetic field intensity is effectively constant within the model uncertainties.

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