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CRC 806 – Our Way to Europe: palaeomagnetic dating and environmental magnetism of sedimentary records (project F6)

Project F6 was only established for the second phase (2013 - 2017), and continued in the third phase of the CRC 806 (2017 -2021). This project primarily aims at conducting palaeomagnetic dating in order to enhance age control on sedimentary records investigated within the framework of the CRC 806. Palaeomagnetic dating employs the temporal variances of the direction and the intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field on time scales between decades to millions of years. Distinctive global variations, which have been accurately determined in time, provide fixed ages and can be used to correlate sedimentary horizons to global master records. This chronological information corroborate dating by other methods, such as luminescence dating and radiocarbon dating, carried out by CRC projects F2 and F5, respectively, and allow age models to be further refined. Three types of geomagnetic behaviour related to different time scales can be used practically within the framework of the CRC: (i) globally defined geomagnetic field excursions that have occurred over the last 120 ka, (ii) broad regional and global trends in directions and relative palaeointensity during the past 250 ka, and (iii) smaller-scale regional changes in palaeosecular variation (PSV) over the last 10 ka and potentially beyond. In addition to the palaeomagnetic dating, measurements of rockmagnetic palaeoclimate proxies, such as magnetic susceptibility, S-ratio, and other grain size and compositional indicators, are conducted on selected records to complement other proxies in reconstruction of the environmental and climatic histories.

Sketch illustrating the scientific objectives of CRC 806 project F6