Magmatism of Oceanic Crust

October 21-24, 1996 – Orcas Island, Washington
Convener: Dennis Kent, Paul Johnson


Because marine magnetic anomalies arise from the combination of seafloor spreading and geomagnetic polarity reversals, they delineate a history of global plate motions and geomagnetic field behavior. Thirty years ago, interpretation of sea surface magnetometer profiles led to the plate tectonics revolution. Recent developments in high-resolution magnetic studies are similarly changing our view of the structure and evolution of oceanic crust and beginning to answer basic questions concerning geomagnetic field behavior.

In response to these developments, the Conference on the Magnetization of Oceanic Crust was held September 21-24,1996, on Orcas Island in Washington State. Forty-seven scientists representing 20 institutions in seven countries attended the conference, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Ridge Interdisciplinary Global Experiment (RIDGE), and the United States Science Advisory Committee (USSAC).

Major goals of the conference were defining hypotheses about magnetization of ocean crust that require testing; identifying new tools, analytical techniques, and field programs needed to carry out these tests; and finding ways to integrate the insights gained from new magnetic studies and techniques with the objectives of other scientific disciplines and with major research initiatives such as C-SEDI and RIDGE.

Eos Workshop Report (pdf)

Paul Johnson, University of Washington
Dennis Kent, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory