Paleomagnetism

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As a rock cools, the iron minerals within the rock align with the current magnetic field. Since the magnetic field changes (by where you are on Earth, by flips where “north”and “south” switch, and by migration of the magnetic north pole), scientists use the magnetic alignment within rocks to determine past movement or the magnetic field itself, along with the movement of rocks and plates via plate tectonics.

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Author: Chris

Assistant Professor, Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, Utah