Environmental Magnetism and Chronostratigraphy

We have continuing interests in paleoclimate studies of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. USC research in this area has two foci: high-resolution paleomagnetic chronostratigraphy and environmental magnetism.

We use detailed records of geomagnetic field variability (secular variation, paleointensity, excursions, reversals) to date and correlate sediment records around the world. On a regional (global) scale, these methods have the potential to date/correlate sediment sequences to ±200 (±500) years over the last 1 million years. Rock magnetic measurements are used to characterize physical sediment variations and geochemical sediment alterations that address issues of environmental/climate variability.

Field research has included participation in five Ocean Drilling Program (ODP/IODP) expeditions:

  • Site 893 - Santa Barbara Basin
  • Leg 172 - Western subtropical North Atlantic Ocean paleoceanography
  • Leg 202 - Southeastern Pacific Ocean paleoceanography
  • Expedition 310 - Tahiti coral reef response to postglacial sea-level rise
  • Expedition 323 - Bering Sea paleoceanography

Field research has also resulted in cores from more than a dozen lakes in the southwestern United States to reconstruct late Quaternary climate/environmental variability.


  • Zumberge Hall of Science (ZHS)
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0740
  • Phone: (213) 740-6106
  • Email: earthsci@usc.edu