Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism

2007 Edition
| Editors: David Gubbins, Emilio Herrero-Bervera

Magnetic Proxy Parameters

  • M. J. Dekkers
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4423-6_181


As a rule, a natural system is complex and the result of the interplay of numerous constituting parameters. To fully describe such systems, ideally each (independent) parameter must be known. However, their mere number would imply a substantial analytical operation and in practice one should look for parameters that describe the essential parts of the system. Because these parameters can only describe the system in an approximate fashion they are termed “proxy parameters” or “proxies.” There exists a myriad of proxies including the chemical analysis of inorganic or organic compounds, the number and types of living and fossil biota, and the physical properties of a sample, such as grain‐size distribution, porosity, magnetic properties, etc. Basically, each physical, chemical, or biological parameter that is measurable reasonably quickly at reasonable cost may serve as proxy to describe a complete system. One should realize that up to over several thousands of data points...

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  • M. J. Dekkers

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