IAGA Absolute Palaeointensity (PINT) Database

Database Homepage

Database Interface


Palaeointensity Methods

Useful Links

Earth & Ocean Sciences, Liverpool




Andy Biggin's homepage

Help Document


All of the database is accessible from a web page which allows you to define selection criteria and select which sets of fields are retrieved. The data are displayed at the bottom of the main page but can also be downloaded as a .txt file

Short Description
Enter desired parameter restrictions and click on one of the buttons on the left to display all the records that satisfy these restrictions. You can then refine your selection and press the button again.

Detailed Description

Selection Criteria

  • Age. This panel contains the minimum and maximum ages that will be selected (Note that only published data with age < 0.05 Ma are incuded).
  • Location. This panel contains parameters to refine the geographic area of the sites recording the palaeointensities. This is done by entering data into the 4 textboxes for the minimum and maximum latitude and longitude. Note that longitudes go from -180 to 180 degrees.

    Alternatively a continent can be selected from the drop down list.

    If you specify both a latitude / longitude range and a continent then both conditions must be met.

  • Palaeointensity Method. There are three options in this panel :-
    • No method criterion, i.e. no records will be rejected because of the palaeointensity method used.
    • Only records which used the Thellier / microwave method with pTRM checks will be retrieved from the database.
    • Custom criterion. Only records with methods matching one of the ticked checkboxes will be retrieved. There are buttons to select & deselect all methods to assist in setting up the checkboxes. To see what each of the codes means, click the palaeointensity methods link in the side bar.
  • Polarity. This panel contains a number of check boxes for specifying the polarity of the palaeomagnetic directions associated with the retrieved palaeointensities.
  • Quality Criteria. In this section, you can define the minimum number of individual sample palaeointensity measurements (Nint) comprising each of the retrieved mean data. You can also define the maximum standard deviation (dF) of these individual measurements in absolute terms and/or as a percentage of their mean.
    A tick box can be selected to apply a criterion that the retrieved palaeointensity data must be accompanied by a palaeomagnetic direction. Selecting this brings up two more criteria boxes pertaining to this direction: a minimum number of sample directions, and a minimum k (Fisher precision parameter) value for these.
The left hand column and guide to output fields.

The Data Selection panel contains the three buttons used to retrieve the data, each of which returns a different set of fields. The table below provides a description of each of the fields in the Data table of database and indicates those which are retrieved by each of the buttons. By ticking the Include reference box, all of the fields from the Reference table are also returned.
Field Description Short Short+Directions Full
Data The Unique Reference Number (URN) in the Data table X X X
Ref The Unique Reference Number (URN) in the Reference table X X X
IDENT The name of the sampling site X X X
SLAT The latitude of the sampling site (positive for N hemisphere) X X X
SLONG The longitude of the sampling site (positive for E hemisphere) X X X
AGE The published age of the measurement in Ma X X X
DAGE The published uncertainty associated with the age in Ma     X
AgeMtd The method of age determination     X
Continent The continent / ocean of the sampling site     X
Country The country or island of the sampling site (if applicable)     X
IntM The method used to obtain the palaeointensity (see link on left side bar for codes) X X X
P The polarity of the magnetisation (Normal, Reversed, Transitional, or O unknown/unspecified)   X X
Ndir The number of samples used to produce the associated palaeomagnetic direction   X X
INC The inclination of the associated palaeomagnetic direction   X X
DEC The declination of the associated palaeomagnetic direction   X X
k The Fisher precision parameter of the associated palaeomagnetic direction   X X
a95 The radius of the cone of 95% confidence of the associated palaeomagnetic direction   X X
Nint The number of samples used to produce the palaeointensity X X X
F The mean palaeointensity in microTesla X X X
DF The standard deviation of the palaeointensity in microTesla X X X
DF% DF as a percentage of F     X
VDM The associated virtual dipole moment (or virtual axial dipole moment if noted in COMMENTS field) in units of 10^22 Am^2 X X X
GROUP A basic description of the sampled unit (7 categories)     X
TYPE A basic description of the lithology of the measured samples     X
FORM Formation - a more specific description of the sampled unit     X
ROCKMAG A brief description of the remanence carriers within the measured samples     X
COMMENTS Important additional information (VDMc indicates that the VDM is recalculated from the given F and INC) X X X
LOCATION NAME A field used for cross-referencing in MagIC     X

Retrieved Data Output Format

Data can be retrieved and listed on the main retrieval page. In this case you can select the retrieved data and copy and paste to another application. Using Internet Explorer 7 as your browser and pasting data into Excel 2007 works well.

Retrieved data can also be downloaded as a text file by right-clicking the "Download" link and selecting the "Save As" function to store the data as a page on your local system. Note the the fields in this file are separated by the | (vertical bar) character.