Secular variation of the Earth's magnetic field in the Balkan region during the last eight millennia based on archaeomagnetic data



The first archaeomagnetic secular variation (SV) curves for the whole Southern Balkan Peninsula are presented. These are based on all data within a 700 km circle centred at Thessaloniki (40.60oN, 23.00oE). This data set consists of 325 directional and 625 intensity data mainly from Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and southern Hungary. Some data from southern Italy are also included. The sliding moving window technique, was used to calculate a continuous SV curve for intensity while the directional SV curves were calculated using the bivariate extension of the Fisher statistics. These curves are well constrained and clearly show the main features of the geomagnetic field variation in this region during the last eight millennia. Comparisons with the predictions of the SCHA.DIF.3K and SCHA.DIF.8K regional and the CALS7K.2 and ARCH3K.1 global geomagnetic field models show a good agreement for the last 3000 years but differences for older times. The Balkan SV curves identify several rapid changes of the geomagnetic field in eastern Europe and can be used as reference curves for archaeomagnetic dating in the Balkan Peninsula.