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U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 03-187

Preliminary Paleomagnetic Results from the Coyote Creek Outdoor Classroom Drill Hole, Santa Clara Valley, California

By Edward A. Mankinen and Carl M. Wentworth


Paleomagnetic samples were obtained from cores taken during the drilling of a research well along Coyote Creek in San Jose, California, in order to use the geomagnetic field behavior recorded in those samples to provide age constraints for the sediment encountered. The well reached a depth of 308 meters and material apparently was deposited largely (entirely?) during the Brunhes Normal Polarity Chron, which lasted from 780 ka to the present time. Three episodes of anomalous magnetic inclinations were recorded in parts of the sedimentary sequence; the uppermost two we correlate to the Mono Lake (~30 ka) geomagnetic excursion and 6 cm lower, tentatively to the Laschamp (~45 ka) excursion. The lowermost anomalous interval occurs at 305 m and consists of less than 10 cm of fully reversed inclinations underlain by 1.5 m of normal polarity sediment. This lower anomalous interval may represent either the Big Lost excursion (~565 ka) or the polarity transition at the end of the Matuyama Reversed Polarity Chron (780 ka). The average rates of deposition for the Pleistocene section in this well, based on these two alternatives, are approximately 52 or 37 cm/kyr, respectively.

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Maintained by: Michael Diggles
Created: June 10, 2003
Last modified: April 25, 2006 (mfd)