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We have conducted a paleomagnetic study of sediment cores obtained from the Selenga prodelta region of Lake Baikal, Russia. This record, which spans approximately the last 84 kyr, contributes to a better understanding of the nature of geomagnetic field behavior in Siberia and is a useful correlation and dating tool. We demonstrate that the Lake Baikal sediments are recording variations in the geomagnetic field. The directional record displays secular variation behavior with a geomagnetic excursion at 20 ka and additional excursions appearing as large-amplitude secular variation at 41, 61, and 67 ka. Smoothing of the geomagnetic excursion behavior occurs in Lake Baikal sediments owing to the intermediate sedimentation rate (13 cm kyr-1). The Lake Baikal relative paleointensity record correlates to absolute paleointensity data for the last 10 kyr and to relative paleointensity records from the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean for the last 84 kyr. This correlation suggests a strong global (i.e., dipole) component to these records and further supports the reliability of sediments as recorders of relative geomagnetic paleointensity. We show that a relative geomagnetic intensity stratigraphy has a potential resolution of 7 kyr by correlating continental and marine records. The geomagnetic intensity stratigraphy helps constrain the age of the difficult to date Lake Baikal sediments.
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An 84-kyr paleomagnetic record from the sediments of Lake Baikal, Siberia