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Raimund Muscheler

Raimund Muscheler


Raimund Muscheler

Relative paleointensity (RPI) in the latest Pleistocene (10–45 ka) and implications for deglacial atmospheric radiocarbon


  • J.E.T. Channell
  • D.A. Hodell
  • S.J. Crowhurst
  • L.C. Skinner
  • R. Muscheler

Summary, in English

We report magnetic properties and relative paleointensity (RPI) proxies from a suite of 10 conventional piston cores and Kasten cores from the SW Iberian Margin collected during cruise JC089 of the RSS James Cook in August 2013. Mean sedimentation rates are in the 10–20 cm/kyr range. Age models were acquired by correlation of Ca/Ti and Zr/Sr XRF core-scanning data to L* reflectance from the Cariaco Basin that is, in turn, tied to the Greenland ice-core chronology. The natural remanent magnetization (NRM) is represented by a single magnetization component carried by a low-coercivity mineral (magnetite), although reflectance and bulk magnetic properties indicate the presence of a high-coercivity (hematitic) magnetic phase, possibly from eolian dust. The presence of fine-grained hematite means that the sediments are not ideal for RPI studies, however the detrital hematite does not appear to contribute to the NRM or anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM). In order to test the usefulness of the RPI data, we construct a stack of 12 RPI records from the SW Iberian Margin for the 0–45 ka interval and compare it with a stack of 12 globally distributed marine and lake records, chosen on the basis of mean sedimentation rates (>15 cm/kyr) and superior age models. The two stacks are similar, but different from published RPI stacks, particularly for the 10–30 ka interval, and imply a virtual axial dipole moment (VADM) high at ∼15–18 ka followed by a drop in field strength from ∼15 to 13 ka. A revised VADM estimate calculated from Greenland 10Be ice-core flux using a contemporary age model is remarkably consistent with the new overall RPI stack, based on Iberian Margin and global RPI records. The elevated atmospheric 14C levels of the last ice age cannot, however, be fully explained by this RPI stack although relative changes such as the long-term drop in atmospheric 14C from 30 to 15 ka are reproduced, supporting the hypothesis of a combined influence of production rate and ocean ventilation on 14C during the last ice age.


  • Quaternary Sciences
  • MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system

Publishing year







Quaternary Science Reviews



Document type

Journal article




  • Geology
  • Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
  • Physical Geography


  • Relative geomagnetic paleointensity, Latest Quaternary, SW Iberian margin, Carbon cycle, Ice-core Be, “Mystery interval”, Atmospheric radiocarbon




  • ISSN: 0277-3791