Rocks have the ability to preserve magnetic information used in determining past geographic formations. The purpose of this report is to determine the past location of a site from a given data set’s magnetic information and the calculations found through their application to paleomagnetism. Magnetic information includes the rock sample’s location and concentration of trace magnetic particles which were used to find declination and inclination on site. The sample’s paleolatitude and paleolongitude are calculated using trigonometric equations that are derived using calculus. After a statistical analysis, these results are compared to the present day’s magnetic poles to determine the past location of the site. This location, along with the magnetic information, is combined to construct a past geographic formation that existed a billion years ago. This process reveals that the site currently found in southwest Namibia, was located near the coast of modern-day northwest Africa during the late Mesoproterozoic Era within a 95% certainty. When compared to past literature these results show the reliability and role of paleomagnetism, as well as the importance of collaboration across the geosciences.
"Role of Paleomagnetism in the Construction of Earth’s Geographic Past,"
Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two:
1, Article 2.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5038/2326-36188.8.131.5221 Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/ujmm/vol11/iss1/2
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Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Joseph Panzik, School of Geosciences
Sarah Sheffield, School of Geosciences
Problem Suggested By:
Joseph Panzik and Sarah Sheffield, School of Geosciences