Paleomagnetism is the study of the fossil magnetism in rocks. It has been paramount in determining that the continents have drifted over the surface of the Earth throughout geological time. The fossil magnetism preserved in the ocean floor has demonstrated how continental drift takes place through the process of sea-floor spreading. The methods and techniques used in paleomagnetic studies of continental rocks and of the ocean floor are described and then applied to determining horizontal movements of the Earth’s crust over geological time. An up-to-date review of global paleomagnetic data enables 1000 million years of Earth history to be summarized in terms of the drift of the major crustal blocks over the surface of the Earth. The firstedition of McElhinny’s book was heralded as a “classic and definitive text.” It thoroughly discussed the theory of geomagnetism, the geologic reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field, and the shifting of magnetic poles. In the 25 years since the highly successful firstedition of Palaeomagnetism and Plate Tectonics (Cambridge, 1973) the many advances in the concepts, methodology, and insights into paleomagnetism warrant this new treatment. This completely updated and revisededition of Paleomagnetism: Continents and Oceans will be a welcome resource for a broad audience of earth scientists as well as laypeople curious about magnetism , paleogeography, geology, and plate tectonics. Because the book is intended for a wide audience of geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers, it balances the mathematical and descriptive aspects of each topic.
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