TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 59 (No. 7), pp. 697-701, 2007

Testing the GAD throughout geological time

M. E. Evans and G. S. Hoye

Institute for Geophysical Research, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G7

(Received October 20, 2006; Revised February 11, 2007; Accepted February 13, 2007; Online published July 20, 2007)

Abstract: The suggestion that the morphology of the geomagnetic field can be tested by inspecting the statistical distribution of palaeomagnetically-determined inclination angles has been challenged on the grounds that typical plate velocities require extremely long sampling intervals—perhaps exceeding the age of the Earth—in order to adequately sample the Earth's surface. Here, we investigate this problem by means of a random walk model and conclude that an interval equivalent to Phanerozoic time (600 Myr) is generally sufficient.
Key words: Geocentric axial dipole, zonal geomagnetic fields, random walk model.

Corresponding author E-mail: evans@phys.ualberta.ca

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