An optimization method for paleomagnetic Euler pole analysis

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Leandro Cesar Gallo , Facundo Sapienza, Mathew Domeier


Owing to the inherent axial symmetry of the Earth’s magnetic field, paleomagnetic data only directly record the latitudinal and azimuthal positions of crustal blocks in the past, but paleolongitude cannot be constrained. An ability to overcome this obstacle is fundamental to paleogeographic reconstruction. The paleomagnetic Euler pole (PEP) analysis presents a unique means to recover such information in deep-time. However, prior applications of the PEP method have invariably incorporated subjective decisions into its execution, undercutting its fidelity and rigor. Here we present a data-driven approach to PEP analysis that addresses some of these deficiencies---namely the objective identification of change-points and small-circle arcs that together approximate an apparent polar wander path. We elaborate on our novel methodology and conduct some experiments with synthetic data to demonstrate its performance. We furthermore present implementations of our methods both as adaptable, stand-alone scripts and as a streamlined interactive workflow that can be operated through a web browser.



Geology, Geophysics and Seismology


paleomagnetism, Apparent Polar Wander Path, Euler Pole, plate kinematics, Optimization


Published: 2021-11-15 18:49

Last Updated: 2021-12-14 22:28

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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