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Journal Article

Global archaeomagnetic data: The state of the art and future challenges.


Brown,  Maxwell C.
External Organizations;

Hervé,  Gwenaël
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Korte,  M.
2.3 Geomagnetism, 2.0 Geophysics, Departments, GFZ Publication Database, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum;

Genevey,  Agnès
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Brown, M. C., Hervé, G., Korte, M., Genevey, A. (2021): Global archaeomagnetic data: The state of the art and future challenges. - Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 318, 106766.

Cite as: https://gfzpublic.gfz-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_5007335
Archaeomagnetic data are fundamental for our understanding of the evolution of Earth's magnetic field on centennial to millennial timescales. From the earliest studies of the Thelliers, Aitken, Nagata and others in the 1950s and 1960s, archaeomagnetic data have been vital for extending our knowledge of the field to times prior to observational measurements. Today, many thousands of archaeomagnetic data allow us to explore the geomagnetic field in more detail than ever before. Both regional time series of archaeomagnetic data and the inclusion of archaeomagnetic data in time-varying global spherical harmonic field models have revealed a range of newly discovered field behaviour. More sophisticated approaches to developing regional curves and global models have allowed us to resolve the field in certain regions more robustly and with greater resolution than previously possible. In this review we give an overview of the widely used global archaeomagnetic database GEOMAGIA50, discuss the methods used to obtain archaeomagnetic data, their challenges, and explore progress over the past twenty years in developing regional secular variation curves and global spherical harmonic models of the archaeomagnetic field. We end the review by covering what we see as the “grand challenges” in archaeomagnetism, including which regions of the world should be focussed on with regards to data acquisition.