New Scientist is reporting further evidence that the earth’s magnetic field can undergo remarkably rapid polarity reversals. Back in 1995, a lava flow at Steens Mountain, Oregon, was found to record an extraordinarily large field change that must have taken place within a few days, confirming an earlier creationist prediction.
Now Scott Bogue of Occidental College in Los Angeles and Jonathan Glen of the US Geological Survey say they’ve discovered a second example in Nevada. The New Scientist report says they have evidence that the earth’s field shifted by 53o in one year, sufficient for a full polarity reversal in less than four years, although Bogue points out that it could also be interpreted as an episode of rapid acceleration punctuating a steadier long term trend.
I’ll look forward to seeing the full paper when it’s out.