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Authors: De Michelis, P.* 
Consolini, G.* 
Title: Some new approaches to the study of the Earth's magnetic field reversals
Issue Date: 2003
Series/Report no.: 4/46 (2003)
Keywords: Earth's magnetic field
geomagnetic reversals
time series analysis
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.03. Magnetosphere::01.03.06. Instruments and techniques 
Abstract: Paleomagnetic studies clearly show that the polarity of the magnetic fi eld has been subject to reversals. It is generally assumed that polarity intervals are exponentially distributed. Here, the geomagnetic polarity reversal record, for the past 166 Ma, is analysed and a new approach to the study of the reversals is presented. In detail, the occurrence of 1/f-noise in the Power Spectral Density (PSD), relative to geomagnetic fi eld reversals, the existence of a Zipf's law behaviour for the cumulative distribution of polarity intervals, and the occurrence of punctuated equilibrium, as shown by a sort of Devil's staircase for the reversal time series, are investigated. Our results give a preliminary picture of the dynamical state of the geomagnetic dynamo suggesting that the geodynamo works in a marginally stable out-of-equilibrium confi guration, and that polarity reversals are equivalent to a sort of phase transition between two metastable states.
Appears in Collections:Annals of Geophysics

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