This entirely new Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism is an up-to-date synthesis of the most basic concepts of Paleomagnetism and Geomagnetism. The volume will be of interest to undergraduate and first and second year graduate students and also non-specialists such as Geologists, Engineers, Biologists, Physicists, Mathematicians, who need to consult the book to find the most basic concepts of Paleomagnetism and Geomagnetism in one compendium. To make the book as accessible as possible to students and non-specialists, the mathematics has been kept to a minimum.
Geomagnetism is the study of the Earth's magnetic field, which is unseen but all about us, and affects much of our lives. It is the oldest Earth science, its importance for navigation giving it the highest priority from the 16th to 18th centuries. By the late 19th century geomagnetism was being used to prospect for metal ores and minerals and, together with modern methods involving electromagnetic induction in the Earth, is a major tool in the exploration for oil as well as minerals.
Paleomagnetism, the determination of the magnetic field at the time of formation of rocks and archeological artefacts, was developed at the turn of the 20th century and almost immediately led to the discovery that the magnetic field had experienced large changes in the distant past, including complete reversals of polarity. Careful analysis and dating of many rock samples and in situ over decades led finally to a timescale for these reversals which is used for geological dating: geomagnetism now provides most of the quantitative information available on the movement of tectonic plates. There were long periods in the past when there were no reversals at all, and many times the field attempts to reverse without succeeding, the poles flipping part way briefly before returning. The geomagnetic field changes rapidly yet is astonishingly long lived, the compass direction changes markedly during a single lifetime yet the field is older than life itself.
Economic applications include aeromagnetic and satellite surveys in prospecting for minerals and hydrocarbons; dating and stratigraphy of sediments for investigations into climate and environmental changes; electromagnetic induction studies of electrical conductivity beneath land and ocean; and the traditional uses in navigation.
The magnetic field originates in the Earth's liquid iron core by a dynamo process. Fluid motion, driven by heat escaping from the interior and light elements rising up through the core, induces electric currents that, under the organising influence of the Earth's rotation, constitute the observed dipolar magnetic field. Understanding this process is one of the greatest challenges left to classical Physics, and current research combines ambitious experiments using liquid metals with the theory of magnetohydrodynamics and very large scale numerical computations - similar to but significantly more complicated than those used to forecast the weather.
From the reviews: "This new encyclopedia focuses mainly on the magnetic field of internal origin; however, some related articles on external sources are included. The editor's goal is to cover the subject in fine detail at a level understandable to anyone with a general scientific education. The work includes 318 alphabetically arranged entries written by 226 specialists in the field. Each entry has a short bibliography and cross-references. ! Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners." (L. Joseph, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (6), 2008) "This new Encyclopedia ! present universal knowledge in the fields of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism in the broadest sense and in a single volume. ! Written at a level accessible to anyone with a scientific education, this authoritative and speedy reference is ! to all whose activities or studies are concerned with both fields. It is therefore a valuable working tool not only for geophysicists and geophysics students but also for physicists, geologists, geographers, atmospheric and environmental scientists and engineers." (Jozef Hus and Jean-Claude Jodogne, Physicalia Magazine, Vol. 30 (1), 2008) "The Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism is part of the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. ! Numerous diagrams, pictures, tables, formulas, and mathematical equations provide clarity to the discussions. A detailed 44-page subject index and a series of color plates, mostly magnetic field maps, appear at the end of the volume. ! this encyclopedia will be of particular interest to students and professionals in the earth sciences. This work is recommended for college, university, and larger public libraries." (Ignacio J. Ferrer-Vinent, ARBAonline, Vol. 39, 2008) "This is major work whose aim is to provide a comprehensive review of all aspects of geomagnetism and palaeomagnetism as the subjects are currently understood. ! the articles are well illustrated, well written and comprehensible to the reader. ! I do believe that it is an indispensible library tool for graduates, academics and professionals alike involved in the application or study of geomagnetism and palaeomagnetism. For those already involved in a particular aspect of this broad discipline it provides a useful pathway to allied subjects." (Graeme Taylor, Geological Magazine, Vol. 145 (3), 2008) "This volume claims to be the first single encyclopaedia to cover the combined fields of geomagnetism and paleomagnetism. ! aims to provide a comprehensive and authoritative coverage of these complex and ever expanding subjects. ! A very useful list of cross-references is provided at the end of each article, which makes it much easier to link together areas that are less familiar. ! In the main this book is for those specialising in geophysics ! . vital for academic libraries with geology and geophysics departments." (Helen Ashton, Reference Reviews, Vol. 22 (3), 2008)
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