Multidecadally resolved polarity oscillations during a geomagnetic excursion

Yu Min Chou, Xiuyang Jiang, Qingsong Liu, Hsun Ming Hu, Chung Che Wu, Jianxing Liu, Zhaoxia Jiang, Teh Quei Lee, Chun Chieh Wang, Yen Fang Song, Cheng Cheng Chiang, Liangcheng Tan, Mahjoor Ahmad Lone, Yongxin Pan, Rixiang Zhu, Yaoqi He, Yu Chen Chou, An Hung Tan, Andrew P. Roberts, Xiang ZhaoChuan Chou Shen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Polarity reversals of the geomagnetic field have occurred through billions of years of Earth history and were first revealed in the early 20th century. Almost a century later, details of transitional field behavior during geomagnetic reversals and excursions remain poorly known. Here, we present a multidecadally resolved geomagnetic excursion record from a radioisotopically dated Chinese stalagmite at 107–91 thousand years before present with age precision of several decades. The duration of geomagnetic directional oscillations ranged from several centuries at 106–103 thousand years before present to millennia at 98–92 thousand years before present, with one abrupt reversal transition occurring in one to two centuries when the field was weakest. These features indicate prolonged geodynamo instability. Repeated asymmetrical interhemispheric polarity drifts associated with weak dipole fields likely originated in Earth’s deep interior. If such rapid polarity changes occurred in future, they could severely affect satellites and human society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8913-8918
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Multidecadally resolved polarity oscillations during a geomagnetic excursion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this