Journal Title

Journal of Geophysical Research

Publication Date



The paleomagnetism of the late Callovian(?) Summerville Formation was analyzed to obtain a late Middle Jurassic paleomagnetic pole for North America. A total of 281 samples were collected from 35 sedimentary horizons (sites) in a single locality in the San Rafael Swell area of east central Utah. Fifteen site-mean characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) directions pass the reversals test and define at least five polarity zones within 52 m of stratigraphic section, suggesting that the ChRM was acquired upon, or soon after, deposition. Magnetizations of some specimens are complex, and several horizons yield anomalous site-mean directions. Data analysis included filtering to provide different combinations of virtual geomagnetic poles for calculation of the paleomagnetic pole. However, editing the data did not change the pole position by more than 5°. The preferred paleomagnetic pole position is 56.3°N, 133.4°E (A95 = 7.2°; N = 11 sites). The Summerville Formation paleomagnetic pole is located near the ∼172 Ma Corral Canyon pole and is statistically indistinguishable from the ∼151 Ma Glance Conglomerate and ∼149 Ma Lower Morrison poles. The paleomagnetic pole from the Summerville Formation is located at a much lower latitude and more easterly longitude than the paleomagnetic pole obtained from the ∼165 Ma Moat Volcanics of New England. We propose that the Jurassic North American apparent polar wander path is an age-progressive band at 55°N to 65°N latitude extending from ∼11°E longitude at ∼172 Ma to ∼150°E longitude at ∼149 Ma.


Paleomagnetism; Magnetic pole

Publication Information

Copyright 1992 American Geophysical Union. The original published version of this article may be found at





Document Type

Journal Article