About this book
Palaeomagnetism and archaeomagnetism are fascinating specialized studies because they are applicable to such a wide range of problems in geology, archaeology and geophysics. They can also be undertaken cheaply, when compared with most other geophysical techniques, and, at first sight, simply. In fact, real comprehension of the magnetic processes that have occurred in rocks and other types of material over several thousands or many millions of years is still extremely difficult to assess and measure. On this basis, this book cannot explain all such features, nor can it attempt to cover all the actual and potential applications of the method. All that can be attempted is to give an impression of the ways in which such techniques can be used in a wide variety of fields, and how these techniques are usually applied. The magnetization of rocks is, in fact, one of the earliest of the true sciences, but we are still not in a position to answer many of the problems posed. Consequently some of the examples given of applications are, essentially, state-of-the-art comments, rather than being a review as such. The changing position of the geomagnetic poles with time is still not adequately defined, for example, and some of the more recent conventional views are given, although the emphasis is placed on more subjective, probably more controversial, evaluations.