Ancient Earth’s Magnetic Field Was Structured Like Today’s Two-pole Model

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The well-exposed layering of basalt flows in formations near Lake Superior is aiding scientific understanding of the geomagnetic field in ancient times. Nicholas Swanson-Hysell, a Princeton graduate student, examines the details of the top of a lava flow.

Princeton University scientists have shown that, in ancient times, the Earth’s magnetic field was structured like the two-pole model of today, suggesting that the methods geoscientists use to reconstruct the geography of early land masses on the globe are accurate. The findings may lead to a better understanding of historical continental movement, which relates to changes in climate.

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