Paleomagnetism and the Nature of the Geodynamo

Science  20 Apr 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4953, pp. 345-350
DOI: 10.1126/science.248.4953.345


Records of direct observations of the earth's magnetic field cover less than a ten-millionth ofthe known lifetime of the field. Thus our knowledge of several geomagnetic phenomena, critical to our understanding of the geodynamo, must come firom the paleomagnetic record. A combination of substantial advances during the past decade or so both in dynamo theory (previously the domain of the mathematician) and in paleomagnetism (previously the domain of the geologist) has led to provocative models of the earth's magnetic field and a better understanding of the geodynamo.