Polarity Transition Records and the Geomagnetic Dynamo

Science  17 Jun 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4296, pp. 1329-1332
DOI: 10.1126/science.196.4296.1329


The Parker-Levy approach to reversals of the geomagnetic field predicts meridional transitional paths of the virtual geomagnetic pole (VGP) which pass either through the site of observation or through its antipode, depending upon the site location and the sense of the polarity transition. Comparison with the most detailed transitional VGP path records presently available gives some indication of the above behavior as predicted by the Parker-Levy model. Discrepancies may be due to complexities in the distribution of cyclonic convection cells in the core not considered in the formal mathematical treatment. The predicted variation in transitional field intensity experienced at any given site also is compatible with several reported transition records.