Magnetic anomalies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A magnetic anomaly is the magnetic field remaining after the Earth’s magnetic field has been removed from the observed amplitude of the local magnetic field. The remanent magnetization of rocks records past variations of the geomagnetic field whereby spatial changes in their magnetization give rise to magnetic anomalies. We can date the oceanic crust by studying the unique pattern of lineated positive and negative magnetic anomalies that arise due to past reversals of the geomagnetic field with known age. Besides the primary signal that is related to past polarity reversals, the shape and tiny variations (wiggles) of the anomalies can be used to further constrain the age of the crust. Altogether, magnetic anomalies provide the main source of dating for the oceanic basins and lay the foundations for global plate reconstructions which place important constraints on the development of the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and global climate
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series
EditorsW. Jack Rink, Jeroen W. Thompson
PublisherSpringer, Dordrecht
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

Publication series

NameEncyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series
ISSN (Print)1388-4360
ISSN (Electronic)1871-756X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (all)


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