Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Paleomagnetism

Study of the residual magnetism of rocks that were formed in earlier time periods, usually deposited as the result of volcanic action. The study of changes in the earth’s magnetic fields during geologic time has resulted in the observation that the earth’s current polarity
(3) (a normal polarity epoch) has often been reversed in the past (a reversed polarity epoch). The (paleo)magnetic time scale of the earth is now well known, so that magnetostratigraphy and paleomagnetic dating are now common. Aka archaeomagnetism, geomagnetism.

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