Satellite Magnetic Anomalies and Continental Reconstructions

  1. Garry D. Mckenzie
  1. R. R. B. Von Frese1,
  2. W. J. Hinze2,
  3. R. Olivier3 and
  4. C. R. Bentley4

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM040p0009

Gondwana Six: Structure, Tectonics, and Geophysics

Gondwana Six: Structure, Tectonics, and Geophysics

How to Cite

Von Frese, R. R. B., Hinze, W. J., Olivier, R. and Bentley, C. R. (1987) Satellite Magnetic Anomalies and Continental Reconstructions, in Gondwana Six: Structure, Tectonics, and Geophysics (ed G. D. Mckenzie), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM040p0009

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Geology and Mineralogy And Institute Of Polar Studies, the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210

  2. 2

    Department of Geosciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907

  3. 3

    Institut De GéOphysique, Université De Lausanne, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland

  4. 4

    Department of Geology and Geophysics, University Of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1987

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900643

Online ISBN: 9781118664483



  • Gondwana(Geology)—Congresses;
  • Geology,Structural—Congresses


Regional magnetic anomalies observed by NASA's magnetic satellite mission over the eastern Pacific Ocean, North and South America, the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Africa, India, Australia, and Antarctica are adjusted to a fixed elevation of 400 km and differentially reduced to the radial pole of intensity of 60,000 nT. Having been normalized for differential inclination, declination, and intensity effects of the core field, these radially polarized anomalies in principle directly map the geometric and magnetic property variations of sources within the lithosphere. Continental satellite magnetic data show a sharp truncation and even parallelism of anomalies along the active edges of the North and South American plates, whereas across passive plate continental margins the truncation of anomalies is less distinct, and possibly reflects subsided continental crust or the tracks of hotspots in the ocean basins. When plotted on an Early Cambrian reconstruction of Gondwanaland, many of the radially polarized anomalies of the continents demonstrate detailed correlation across the continental boundaries to verify the prerift origin of their sources. Accordingly, these anomalies provide fundamental constraints on the geologic evolution of the continents and their reconstructions.