An activity index for geomagnetic paleosecular variation, excursions, and reversals

TitleAn activity index for geomagnetic paleosecular variation, excursions, and reversals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPanovska S., Constable C.G
JournalGeochemistry Geophysics Geosystems
Volume18
Pagination1366-1375
Date Published2017/04
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1525-2027
Accession NumberWOS:000403478500003
Keywordsdata; dipole-moment; earths magnetic-field; ka; north-atlantic; Paleointensity; records; satellite; scale; secular variation; transition
Abstract

Magnetic indices provide quantitative measures of space weather phenomena that are widely used by researchers in geomagnetism. We introduce an index focused on the internally generated field that can be used to evaluate long term variations or climatology of modern and paleomagnetic secular variation, including geomagnetic excursions, polarity reversals, and changes in reversal rate. The paleosecular variation index, P-i, represents instantaneous or average deviation from a geocentric axial dipole field using normalized ratios of virtual geomagnetic pole colatitude and virtual dipole moment. The activity level of the index, sigma P-i, provides a measure of field stability through the temporal standard deviation of P-i. P-i can be calculated on a global grid from geomagnetic field models to reveal large scale geographic variations in field structure. It can be determined for individual time series, or averaged at local, regional, and global scales to detect long term changes in geomagnetic activity, identify excursions, and transitional field behavior. For recent field models, P-i ranges from less than 0.05 to 0.30. Conventional definitions for geomagnetic excursions are characterized by P-i exceeding 0.5. Strong field intensities are associated with low P-i unless they are accompanied by large deviations from axial dipole field directions. sigma P-i provides a measure of geomagnetic stability that is modulated by the level of PSV or frequency of excursional activity and reversal rate. We demonstrate uses of P-i for paleomagnetic observations and field models and show how it could be used to assess whether numerical simulations of the geodynamo exhibit Earth-like properties.

DOI10.1002/2016gc006668
Short TitleGeochem. Geophys. Geosyst.
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