Revisiting the Cretaceous normal superchron in the SW Indian Ocean

Jerome Dyment, Yves Gallet, Roi Granot, Nobukazu Seama, Charles Poitou, Kyoto Okino, Taichi Sato, Hanjin Choe, Aleksandr Pasenko, Marcus Phua, Shai Roth, Tao Zhang, Christophe Hemond, Mathieu Blanc, Erez Kraus, Manyano Makuzeni, Gad Raifman, Volanirina S. Razafimamonjy, Assa Schatz, Frederic Resseguier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Cretaceous Normal Superchron (CNS) is a approximately 40 Myr-long period of constant normal geomagnetic polarity during which no geomagnetic reversal has been convincingly observed so far. It extended from Chron M0  (approximately 120 Ma) to Chron 34 (83 Ma). In a previous study we showed that significant differences in the variability of the geomagnetic dipole moment exist within the CNS, with long wavelength, low amplitude variations in its first third, short wavelength, high amplitude variations within the median third, and long wavelength, very low amplitude variations in the last third (Granot et al., Nature Geoscience, 2012). We also demonstrated the existence of markers that can be identified within the CNS and allow intermediate plate reconstructions between Chrons M0 and 34 (Granot & Dyment, EPSL, 2015). Our inspection of a global set of marine magnetic profiles suggested that the Mozambique Basin and its conjugate off Antarctica may host the best records of the CNS. We therefore carried out project Magofond 4, a two leg-expedition (January-March 2017) in this area to better constrain (1) the variability in magnetic dipole moment, the possible occurrence of short reversed polarity intervals, and more generally the evolution of the geodynamo during, immediately before and after the CNS, and (2) the presence of markers allowing detailed reconstructions of the Antarctic and African Plates within the CNS. During Leg 1 onboard R/V Pourquoi pas?, we acquired a long deep tow, high-resolution magnetic profile across the median part of the CNS, a shorter profile across Chron 33r, and three sea-surface magnetic profiles across the CNS in the Mozambique Basin. During Leg 2 onboard R/V Marion Dufresne, we acquired four sea-surface magnetic profiles across the CNS in the Riiser-Larsen Sea. A sea-surface vector magnetometer and two scalar magnetometers (gradiometer) were used during half of Leg 2. During both legs we collected (almost) continuously shipboard three-component magnetics, multibeam bathymetry and imagery, sub-bottom profiler data, and gravity. Best use was made of the transits to acquire valuable data across the SWIR. We will present the cruise, the data, and some initial results.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2017
StatePublished - 2017


  • Stratigraphy; 12


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