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Propagating and incorporating the error in anisotropy-based

inclination corrections

Dario Bilardello,

1

Josef Jezek

2

and Kenneth P. Kodama

3

1

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, LMU, Theresienstrasse 41, 80333 Munich, Germany. E-mail: dabc@lehigh.edu

2

Institute of Applied Mathematics and Information Technologies, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czech Republic

3

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, 31 Williams Dr., 18015 Bethlehem PA, USA

Accepted 2011 June 30. Received 2011 June 3; in original form 2010 August 27

SUMMARY

Sedimentary rock palaeomagnetic inclinations that are too shallow with respect to the ambient

eld inclination may be restored using anisotropy-based inclination corrections or techniques

that rely on models of the past geomagnetic eld. One advantage of the anisotropy technique

is that it relies on measured parameters (declinations, inclinations, bulk rock magnetic fabrics

and particle magnetic anisotropy) that have measurement errors associated with them, rather

than relying on a geomagnetic eld model and statistical treatment of the data.

So far, however, the error associated with the measurements has not been propagated through

the corrections and the reported uncertainties are simply the

95

95 per cent condence circles

of the corrected directions.

In this paper we outline different methodologies of propagating the error using bootstrap

statistics and analytic approximations using the case example of the Shepody Formation

inclination correction. Both techniques are in good agreement and indicate a moderate, 15 per

cent, uncertainty in the determination of the attening factor (f ) used in the correction. Such

uncertainty corresponds to an 0.31

the mean inclination by 0.32

for f ranging from 0 and 30 per cent were used (together with an intermediate value of 15 per

cent) yielding a maximum expected increase in the condence cones and steepening of the

inclinations of 1

. Such results indicate that for moderate errors of f the inclination correction

itself does not substantially alter the uncertainty of a typical palaeomagnetic study.

We also compare the uncertainties resulting from anisotropy-based corrections to those

resulting from the elongation/inclination (E/I) technique. Uncertainties are comparable for

studies with a large sample number (>100), otherwise the anisotropy-based technique gives

smaller uncertainties.

When anisotropy data are not available, it is possible to estimate a correction using attening

factors (f ) obtained from the literature. A range of attening factors has been observed for

both magnetite and haematite-bearing rocks (0.4 f 1 for haematite and 0.54 f 1 for

magnetite), but the exact value is specic to the anisotropy of the formation. To evaluate the

maximum effects of inclination shallowing, the smallest f (for magnetite or haematite) should

be used.

Key words: Magnetic fabrics and anisotropy; Palaeomagnetism applied to tectonics; Palaeo-

magnetism applied to geologic processes; Rock and mineral magnetism.

1 I NTRODUCTI ON

Inclination shallowing is one of the most important problems in

palaeomagnetism of sedimentary rocks because accurate measure-

ment of the inclination of the palaeomagnetic eld is crucial to

determine palaeolatitudes.

Red sedimentary rocks are particularly prone to shallowing

(Garc es et al. 1996; Gilder et al. 2001; Tan & Kodama 2002;

Tan et al. 2003; Tauxe & Kent 2004; Kent & Tauxe 2005; Tan

et al. 2007; Bilardello & Kodama 2010a,c) but considerable in-

clination shallowing has also been described in magnetite-bearing

rocks (Jackson et al. 1991; Kodama & Davi 1995; Tan & Kodama

1998; Kodama 2009; Bilardello & Kodama 2010b).

Palaeomagnetic inclination is a function of the palaeolatitude of

deposition and the magnitude of the inclination error has been found

to vary with eld inclination according to the relation (King 1955;

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2011 The Authors 1

Geophysical Journal International

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2011 RAS

Geophysical Journal International

2 D. Bilardello, J. Jezek and K.P. Kodama

Grifths et al. 1960; King & Rees 1966)

tan (I

m

) = f tan (I

c

) , (1)

where I

m

is the measured (remanent) inclination, I

c

is the corrected

(eld) inclination and f is a attening factor, found to range between

0.4 and 0.83 in haematite-bearing rocks and between 0.54 and 0.79

in magnetite-bearing rocks from a compilation of inclination cor-

rection studies (Bilardello & Kodama 2010b). This relationship

predicts the largest inclination errors for intermediate inclinations,

which occur at intermediate latitudes.

Shallower than expected palaeomagnetic inclinations may be

caused by a variety of processes occurring during or after depo-

sition. Mechanical processes such as compaction may affect the re-

manence after deposition and lead to shallowinclinations (Anson &

Kodama 1987; Sun &Kodama 1992). Depositional processes, how-

ever, such as rolling of particles after they have settled or attening

of platy particles due to gravity (see review by Verosub 1977) have

also been proposed as a cause of shallower than expected palaeo-

magnetic inclinations. Many experimental studies performed in still

and running water have shown that depositional shallowing does in-

deed occur (e.g. King 1955; Barton et al. 1980; Tauxe & Kent

1984).

Notwithstanding the process involved, inclination shallowing is

a function of magnetic anisotropy and therefore two parameters

are necessary for inclination corrections, the magnetic fabric and

the individual particle anisotropy of the remanence carrier (Jackson

et al. 1991; Tan & Kodama 2003). The rock fabric can be measured

using a variety of techniques (e.g. AMS, AAR and AIR), the choice

of which will depend on the magnetic carrier of the targeted mag-

netization (Tarling & Hrouda 1993; McCabe et al. 1985; Jackson

1991; Tan & Kodama 2003; Bilardello & Kodama 2009a).

The individual particle anisotropy, the a factor, on the other hand,

needs either to be estimated using a best t to theoretical correction

curves (Tan & Kodama 2002; Tan et al. 2003; Tan et al. 2007),

or be measured directly from magnetic separates (Kodama 2009;

Bilardello & Kodama 2010a,b).

Both parameters have an associated measurement error and also

exhibit variability (e.g. the variation of bulk anisotropy within a site)

that is typically higher than the measurement error. Regardless of

the source of the variability for the parameters used in the inclination

corrections, it produces an additional uncertainty in the corrected

results and should be determined by error propagation. In this paper

we report on the error propagation of recently reported inclination

corrections of haematite-bearing rocks. We also assess a means

of determining the uncertainty of inclination corrections that are

estimated on the basis of compiled shallowing factors for both

haematite- and magnetite-bearing sedimentary rocks (Bilardello &

Kodama 2010b).

2 ERROR PROPAGATI ON FOR THE

CARBONI FEROUS SHEPODY

FORMATI ON

We will demonstrate the technique using the example of the error

propagation for an inclination correction of the Shepody Formation

(Shepody Fm.) of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (Bilardello &

Kodama 2010a).

Haematite is the main carrier of the magnetic remanence of the

Shepody Fm. and the eld inclination may be restored using the

equation of Tan & Kodama (2003)

f =

q

z

(2a +1) 1

q

x

(2a +1) 1

, (2)

where q

x

and q

z

are the maximum and minimum normalized

anisotropy principal axes of the magnetic fabric and a is the in-

dividual haematite particle anisotropy. In Table 1 we report the site-

mean statistics for the measured directions and principal anisotropy

of the formation. At each of the 19 sites, magnetic anisotropy was

measured on selected samples and the values of q

x

and q

z

in Table 1

are computed from the mean of the normalized anisotropy tensor.

Values of the parameter a measured from magnetic extracts of dif-

ferent haematite-bearing rock formations are reported in Table 2.

Site-mean directions are shown in Fig. 1(a).

Table 1. Determination of the shallowing factor f and relative uncertainty (f ) for the Shepody Fm. of New Brunswick/ Nova

Scotia (Bilardello & Kodama 2010a) by both bootstrap and analytic solutions: q

z

and q

x

are the minimum and maximum normalized

principal anisotropy axes, respectively, while q

z

and q

x

are their associated uncertainties. f bootstrap and f bootstrap are the

bootstrap-simulated values of f and associated uncertainty (100,000 simulations), while f analytic and f analytic are the analytic

approximations of f and associated uncertainty as determined through eq. 3(a) (please refer to text for detail).

Site q

z

q

x

q

z

q

x

f bootstrap f bootstrap f analytic f analytic

M10 0.312657272 0.350668688 0.002794775 0.002427569 0.5678 0.0955 0.5702 0.0936

M11 0.315322709 0.346114618 0.003209076 0.002189982 0.6162 0.0971 0.6226 0.0974

M1 0.314446594 0.350850992 0.001066086 0.000717897 0.5751 0.0937 0.5766 0.0922

M2 0.318316939 0.346156189 0.001495345 0.000503612 0.7142 0.0948 0.7203 0.0995

M3 0.315072366 0.355420932 5.66255E-05 0.000105342 0.5748 0.0898 0.5792 0.0902

S10 0.317757156 0.350955886 0.001193856 0.002944225 0.6271 0.0918 0.6309 0.0936

S1 0.316425713 0.350233902 0.004378935 0.000958603 0.604 0.0942 0.6075 0.093

S2 0.314630055 0.346942323 0.001729174 0.003373147 0.6243 0.097 0.6341 0.0991

S3 0.313857114 0.349339926 0.005349763 0.003915679 0.6027 0.0972 0.6152 0.0989

S4 0.309360574 0.356980262 0.011321883 0.001126908 0.5193 0.0865 0.5223 0.0867

S5 0.315712268 0.350678609 0.002124959 0.001221533 0.5882 0.0929 0.5908 0.092

S7 0.324414093 0.341352986 0.002204336 9.69903E-05 0.7711 0.0956 0.7967 0.1086

S8 0.307178819 0.348698722 0.00739189 0.005117662 0.4948 0.0947 0.5069 0.0961

S9 0.310507499 0.354621217 0.000839152 0.000187434 0.5257 0.0908 0.5279 0.0904

Shep1 0.31664338 0.349874088 0.006481168 0.002814354 0.6129 0.0937 0.6156 0.0932

Shep2 0.321156905 0.346477909 0.000579672 0.003804763 0.7491 0.0913 0.7625 0.1013

Shep3 0.313153877 0.353971481 0.005718824 0.003580706 0.569 0.0939 0.5718 0.0917

Shep4 0.319525783 0.346134247 0.003563435 0.005505917 0.669 0.0961 0.6729 0.0971

Shep5 0.311349391 0.351642211 0.001075849 0.002559931 0.553 0.094 0.5555 0.0928

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2011 The Authors, GJI

Geophysical Journal International

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2011 RAS

Error propagation in inclination corrections 3

Table 2. Individual particle anisotropy values measured from mag-

netic extractions of haematite-bearing rocks (please refer to Kodama

2009 and Bilardello & Kodama 2010a,b for details on the extraction

procedure).

Individual particle anisotropy measurements

Haematite a Reference

Mauch Chunk Fm. 1.45 Kodama (2009)

Shepody Fm. 1.39 Bilardello & Kodama (2010a)

Maringouin Fm. 1.34 Bilardello & Kodama (2010a)

Kapusaliang Fm. 1.45 Kodama (2009)

Newark Basin 1.37 Tan et al. (2007)

Haematite crystal 1.28 Tan et al. (2007)

Haematite crystal 1.41 Tan et al. (2007)

Mean 1.38 Bilardello & Kodama (2009b)

0.06 Bilardello & Kodama (2009b)

2.1 The error of the factor f

To assess the site-variability (uncertainty) of the factor f , the site-

variability of the parameters q

x

, q

z

and a is needed. The parameter

a represents the anisotropy of a haematite single crystal. Although

curve-tting techniques can be used to accurately estimate indi-

vidual particle anisotropy (Tan & Kodama 2002; Tan et al. 2003;

Kodama 2009), it can be measured directly using remanence

anisotropy of synthetic samples prepared from magnetic extracts

(Kodama 2009; Bilardello & Kodama 2010a,b). Multiple mea-

surements of the anisotropy of the magnetic extracts will allow

calculation of an average particle anisotropy and associated stan-

dard deviation. Haematite anisotropy results from a competition

between magnetocrystalline and magnetoelastic anisotropy (Dun-

lop &

Ozdemir 1997;

Ozdemir & Dunlop 2005). Assuming that

the anisotropy is mainly controlled by magnetocrystalline forces,

particle anisotropy should be very similar for any haematite crystal.

A compilation of a factors measured from extracts obtained from

seven different red bed formations (Bilardello & Kodama 2009b)

conrms that haematite a factors are indeed very similar with a

mean value of 1.38 and a standard deviation () of 0.06 (Table 2).

We will use this average and its associated standard deviation for

the propagation of the error in our inclination corrections.

For q

x

and q

z

, the standard deviations computed from each site

show high variability and are probably not an accurate estimate of

site-variability. However, the between-site mean values of standard

deviations (

qx

=0.0042,

qz

=0.0043) are in good agreement with

standard deviations computed from all samples from the whole

formation (

qx

= 0.0043,

qz

= 0.0051). We will use the latter

estimates of q

x

and q

y

s standard deviations for all sites not to risk

underestimating the uncertainty.

2.2 Bootstrap of the f -factor

The uncertainty of f may be assessed by means of parametric boot-

straps (Tauxe et al. 2010). We use a normal distribution for all

parameters (q

x

, q

z

and a) in all sites. Although the real distributions

of the parameters may not be normal (Tauxe et al. 2010) we do not

have sufcient data to characterize them. However, our estimate of

the error of the formation mean will be based on averaging, there-

fore for the central limit theorem the individual distributions of

parameters would not play a signicant role. The parameters q

x

and

q

z

should be generated as correlated. For the whole formation we

compute the covariance to be c = 1.41 10

5

and the correlation

Figure 1. (a) Site-mean directions of the Shepody Fm. and 95 per cent Fisherian condence cone for the formation mean. (b) Corrected site-mean directions

and the formation condence cone. (c) Simulated site-mean directions using the bootstrapped variability of the f factor. (d) Formation means computed from

the simulated site-mean directions (see Fig. 2 for more detail).

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2011 The Authors, GJI

Geophysical Journal International

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2011 RAS

4 D. Bilardello, J. Jezek and K.P. Kodama

to be = 0.642 and use these values to generate new correlated

parameters q

x

and q

z

. To avoid the possibility that by randomchoice

we obtain higher values for q

z

than for q

x

or they are not the min-

imum and maximum principal values, respectively, we always also

compute q

y

= 1 q

x

q

z

and check that q

z

and q

x

are, respectively,

the minimum and maximum of the triplet. If not we exchange them

accordingly. Doing so slightly distorts the normality of the chosen

q

x

and q

z

and also inuences the nal distribution of the factor f .

Nevertheless, differences from a normal distribution were not visi-

ble on histograms of q

x

, q

z

and f . Based on this procedure we have

bootstrapped the factor f and its standard deviation f for all sites

(Table 1).

2.3 Analytic expression

Results of the bootstrap technique can be compared to an analytic

expression. The f -factor determined by eq. (2) is linear in q

z

and only

slightly non-linear in q

x

and a (considering the range of their values),

which allows using an estimate based on classic schemes of error

propagation (e.g. Roddick 1987). Assuming that the uncertainties

at a site of individual particle and bulk anisotropies are not too high

and taking into account the fact that q

x

and q

z

are correlated, the

nal uncertainty of the factor f can be approximated by

f =

_

_

f

a

_

2

2

a

+

_

f

q

x

_

2

2

qx

+

_

f

q

z

_

2

2

qz

+2c

_

f

q

x

__

f

q

z

_

,

(3a)

where c is the covariance, or, using relative errors

f

f

=

_

P

_

a

a

_

2

+ Q

_

qx

q

x

_

2

+ R

_

qz

q

z

_

2

+ S

_

qx

q

x

__

qz

q

z

_

,

(3b)

where

P =

_

a

f

_

2

_

f

a

_

2

, Q =

_

q

x

f

_

2

_

f

q

x

_

2

,

R =

_

q

z

f

_

2

_

f

q

z

_

2

and S = 2

_

q

x

f

__

q

z

f

__

f

q

x

__

f

q

z

_

.

The second approach (eq. 3b) allows assessing the role of each in-

dividual termand its relative contribution to the error. By numerical

analysis it was found that all terms are important (non-negligible)

and should be considered.

In Table 1 we compare the errors of the factor f computed using

eq. (3a) with those obtained by bootstrapping. Both estimates of the

error are of the order of 15 per cent and mutually consistent. By

bootstrap the site-relative errors f /f have a mean of 15.59 per cent,

(minimum 12.19, maximum 19.14), while the estimate obtained

through eq. (3a) is very similar, with a mean of 15.62 per cent

(minimum 13.29, maximum 18.96). We have used both bootstrap

and analytic estimates for the following computations, however,

since the results are similar we always report the results based on

the errors of f computed by analytic approximation.

2.4 Assessment of the additional uncertainty

of the formation mean by bootstrap

The uncertainty in the f -factor introduces an additional variabil-

ity to the mean formation direction. We will assess this additional

variability by bootstrap, based on established errors f . The Shep-

ody Fm. inclinations were corrected at the site level by eqs (1) and

(2) and the result is shown in Fig. 1(b). As is typically done, we

characterize the mean direction by the resultant with components

X =

cos D

i

cos I

i

, Y =

sin D

i

cos I

i

and Z =

sin I

i

(4)

and length

R =

_

X

2

+Y

2

+ Z

2

and by a circular 95 per cent condence cone based on the assump-

tion of the Fisher (1953) distribution, whose radius is

95

= arccos

_

1

n R

R

_

20

1/n1

1

_

_

.

An estimate of the precision parameter (Fisher et al. 1987) is

=

n 1

n R

.

A comparison of Figs 1(a) and (b) shows that the inclination

correction causes an elongation of the site-mean directions. We

have therefore also tted an elliptical cone corresponding to the

Kent (1982) distribution, with semi-axes

95

= arcsin

_

g

_

,

95

= arcsin

_

g

_

,

where g = 2 log(0.05)n/R

2

, and

2

and

3

are the second and

third eigenvalues of the orientation matrix (see Tauxe et al. 1991

for details). Both circular and elliptical condence cones are shown

in Fig. 2, where the respective condence angles are

95

= 7.75

,

95

= 9.30

and = 4.72

.

Note that there is a small negligible difference in the centres of the

circular and elliptical cone, since the rst is given by the resultant

and the second by the rst eigenvector of the orientation matrix.

Furthermore, the long axis of the elliptical cone is almost parallel to

a longitudinal line that passes through the centre of the cone (they

include a small angle 3.5

).

Figure 2. Detail of the simulated formation means (marked by the symbol

x). Their elliptical scatter represents the additional uncertainty in the esti-

mation of the formation mean direction due to the error of the f factor. The

black dots are Shepody Fm. corrected site-means, the circle is the Fisherian

condence cone, the ellipse is Kents condence cone, the line is a longitu-

dinal line passing through the mean formation directions (all projected on

the upper hemisphere of a unit sphere).

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2011 The Authors, GJI

Geophysical Journal International

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2011 RAS

Error propagation in inclination corrections 5

We use the previously estimated site-variability of the f -factor

(Table 1) to estimate the uncertainty of the inclination correction.

From the previous bootstrap of the f -factor we already know that

we can assume that the distribution of the errors is approximately

normal. Using site-mean values of f and their standard deviations

f (Table 1) we randomly and independently generate a new value

of f and a new site mean for each site and then compute a cor-

responding formation mean from the new site means. We repeat

this procedure many times (>10 000 times). Eqs 1 and 2 indicate

that only the inclination is affected. This causes the simulated site

means to spread along lines of longitude towards the centre of the

stereogram in Fig. 1(c). The corresponding formation means are

shown in Fig. 1(d) and in more detail in Fig. 2. They exhibit a small

elliptical variability also subparallel to a line of longitude. The ori-

entation matrix gives the orientation of the axes of the elliptical

cloud. The difference between the long axis and longitudinal line

is only 0.6

higher inclinations with respect to the centres of the Fisher (1953)

and Watson (see Tauxe et al. 1991) cones of condence. Repeated

simulations show that this shift is systematic and on the order of

some tenths of a degree. This detail will be studied later.

The simulated formation means shown in Fig. 2 represent an

additional uncertainty of the previously estimated formation mean,

which is caused by the error of the factor f , and should be added

to its uncertainty (i.e. increasing the condence cones in Fig. 2).

Assuming elliptical uncertainty described by the orientation matrix,

the angles dening the elliptical 95 per cent condence cone of the

bootstrapped formation means in Fig. 2 are estimated as quantiles.

We obtain

e

95

= 2.20

and

e

95

= 0.35

.

Since we are interested in how different errors of f affect the

overall uncertainty ellipse for the corrected formation mean, we

have also performed a series of simulations with articially chosen

relative errors f between 5 and 30 per cent (in each simulation

the relative error is equal for all sites). Results are shown in Fig. 3

(marked by asterisks). Note that the formation mean is computed

by averaging which causes the distribution of the error of f not to

have a signicant effect on the error propagation. For example, if we

change the assumption of a normal distribution of the error f and

use a uniform distribution (width 2 f ), the elliptical character of

the resulting distribution of the bootstrapped formation mean does

not change and the values of angles

e

95

and

e

95

change minimally

(marked by open circles in Fig. 3).

2.5 Analytical assessment of the additional variability

We also want to determine an analytical expression for the added

uncertainty of the formation mean caused by the error of f . We

rst assess how the corrected inclination in eq. (1), that is, I

c

=

arctan(tan(I

m

)/f ) changes with deviations of f f . In Fig. 4 we

show these changes together with their approximations by rst and

second derivatives

I

c

=

dI

c

d f

f =

tan I

m

tan

2

I

m

+ f

2

f, (5)

I

c

=

tan I

m

tan

2

I

m

+ f

2

f +

f tan I

m

_

tan

2

I

m

+ f

2

_

2

f

2

. (6)

For relative errors of f up to 1520 per cent approximation (5)

is acceptable. For higher errors, up to 35 per cent, the second

Figure 3. The angle

e

95

expressing the variability of bootstrapped forma-

tion means as a function of the relative error f of Shepody Fm. the solid

dot is the result corresponding to bootstrapped means in Fig. 2, the asterisks

are simulations performed using a normal distribution of the errors (relative

error f equal for all sites), open circles are simulations performed using a

uniform distribution of the errors. Small dots connected by lines show the

approximations by eqs (8) and (9) (upper and lower curves, respectively).

On the right vertical axis is the increase of the Fisherian condence cone

95

caused by the error f .

Figure 4. Change of corrected inclination caused by equal positive and

negative deviations of f : solid line is the result of eq. (1), thin lines are the

rst-order approximations deriving from eq. (5), dots are the second-order

approximations given by eq. (6). In the middle is the mean from the upper

and lower curve and its second-order approximation. All computed for the

mean Shepody values of I

m

= 20.4

and f = 0.618.

derivative approximation works better. The deviations I

c

caused

by equal positive and negative deviations of f are not equal (in

absolute values), the latter being larger. This will cause a bias of the

formation mean, which will be analysed in more detail below.

Due to the almost longitudinal character of the correction

(Fig. 1c), it is possible to make a rough estimate of the angle

e

95

directly from the eq. (1). Using the mean inclination of the Shepody

I

m

= 20.4

0.15 per cent (f = 0.093) we compute I

c

by eq. (5). Taking this

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2011 The Authors, GJI

Geophysical Journal International

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2011 RAS

6 D. Bilardello, J. Jezek and K.P. Kodama

estimate as valid for all sites, the angle

e

95

is given by

e

95

_

2

2

n

|I

c

| =

_

2

2

n

tan I

m

tan

2

I

m

+ f

2

f, (7)

where

2

2

is a 95 per cent quantile of Chi-square distribution. The

result is

e

95

1.19

.

To rene the simple estimate from eq. (7) we use eq. (5) with the

specic site inclinations. We obtain

e95

_

2

2

I

2

ci

n

2

, (8)

where I

ci

is the result of eq. (5) for the ith site. The resulting angle

e

95

= 2.47

bootstrapping. In Fig. 3 the upper curve shows the estimate given

by eq. (8) as a function of the error f .

We examine another estimate of the additional uncertainty of

the formation mean, that is more rigorous and also provides the

angle for the short axis of the condence ellipse. From eq. (4)

for the resultant we calculate the inclination and declination of the

formation mean direction, and then we nd by differentiation how

every sites individual inclination error inuences the position of

the formation mean

I

Fi

=

cos I

i

X

2

+Y

2

I

i

,

D

Fi

=

X sin D

i

sin I

i

+Y cos D

i

sin I

i

X

2

+Y

2

I

i

,

where I

i

and I

i

are the corrected inclination site-means and their

error. Assuming the errors I

i

are small, the I

Fi

and D

Fi

variations are

assumed to lie in a plane tangent to the unit sphere at the formation

mean direction (point I

F

, D

F

). Summing the variances we obtain,

for the whole formation

I

F

=

1

X

2

+Y

2

_

(cos I

i

I

i

)

2

,

D

F

=

1

X

2

+Y

2

_

(X sin D

i

sin I

i

+Y cos D

i

sin I

i

)

2

I

2

i

.

The angles dening the 95 per cent elliptical cone then become

e

95

_

2

2

I

F

,

e

95

_

2

2

D

F

. (9)

Resulting angles are

e

95

= 2.01

and

e

95

= 0.40

.

The lower curve in Fig. 3 shows the estimate by eq. 9 for the angle

e

95

that is closer to the bootstrapped estimates for values of f up

to 20 per cent than the previous estimate by eq. (8). However, for

higher values of f the estimate by eq. (8) shows better agreement.

In the next procedure we will use the estimate by eq. (8), which is

simpler to compute and provides a satisfying approximation in the

whole range of f up to 30 per cent.

2.6 Increasing the condence cones

Given the relatively small angles dening both condence cones (the

original cone for the formation mean and the cone for the additional

uncertainty of the formation mean) and the fact that their long axes

are almost parallel we can again estimate by a fair approximation

the nal formation condence cone as if working in a plane. We

obtain

F95

=

_

2

95

+

2

e

95

and

F95

=

_

2

95

+

2

e

95

(10)

for the original Fisherian cone (which becomes elliptical), and

F95

=

_

2

95

+

2

e

95

and

F95

=

_

2

95

+

2

e

95

(11)

for the Kents cone. The results for the Shepody Fm. are

F95

= 8.06

,

F95

= 7.76

F95

= 9.56

,

F95

= 4.76

(computed with

95

=7.75

,

95

=9.30

,

95

=4.72

,

e

95

=2.20

and

e

95

= 0.35

).

We can also express the increase of the condence angle, for

example the Fisherian cone, as

95

=

_

2

95

+

2

e

95

95

2

e95

2

95

. (12)

For the Shepody Fm. we nd that the Fisherian condence cone

would be enlarged by

95

=0.31

95

computed for a range of values of f .

2.7 Bias of the formation mean

We have already mentioned that negative deviations of f have a

greater effect on the change of the corrected inclination than positive

ones. This means that the propagated uncertainty in f will cause a

bias towards higher values of the corrected inclinations (making

inclinations steeper than the corrected inclination without proper

error propagation) and therefore introducing a bias of the formation

mean. We can quantify this bias as half the difference between

the results of eq. (6) for positive and negative f . We obtain an

approximation of the bias from the second derivative of f

I

F

=

f tan I

m

_

tan

2

I

m

+ f

2

_

2

f

2

, (13)

where I

m

is the formation-mean measured inclination and f , f are

the formation-mean values of f and its error. Nevertheless, a better

approximation results from an average of the site-mean values for

I

m

, f and f.

I

F

=

1

n

f tan I

m

_

tan

2

I

m

+ f

2

_

2

f

2

. (14)

This angle reects the steepening of the formation mean due to

the errors of f . In Fig. 5 we compare the estimates by eqs (13) and

(14) to the bootstrapped values from simulations already shown in

Fig. 3. The estimate by eq. (14) is very close to the value computed

by bootstrap, I

F

= 0.35

value I

F

= 0.42

.

2.8 Summary of the Shepody Fm.

We found that the additional uncertainty caused by the error of the

factor f caused an increase of the condence cone by 0.31

and a

bias that steepens the formation mean by 0.35

an error of the f -factor on the order of 15 per cent does not sub-

stantially affect the estimate of the mean direction of the formation

in the context of a typical palaeomagnetic study. Furthermore, we

cannot exclude the possibility of overestimating the nal error of

the formation mean by overestimating the errors of q

x

and q

z

.

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Error propagation in inclination corrections 7

Figure 5. Bias of the mean Shepody Fm. inclination as a function of the

error of f : upper and lower curves are the estimates resulting from eqs.(13)

and (14), respectively, the solid dot and asterisks are the simulated values as

in Fig. 3.

We have assessed the additional errors in the formation mean

due to errors in the f -factor by both bootstrapping and using an-

alytic expressions, and they are found to be similar in magnitude.

Nevertheless, the approaches described (especially the analytic ex-

pressions) rely on the assumptions of small angles and moderate

within-site errors of the f -factor, which must be checked when ap-

plied to other studies. For formations with condence cones smaller

than 10

The nal error of the formation mean can be simulated directly

in one bootstrap. We have split the task to separately assess the error

of the f -factor, how it is propagated into the inclination correction

and subsequently into the condence cone for the formation mean.

A conrmation that our estimates are correct can be given by

a comparison to the bootstrap results using larger errors of f . In

Fig. 6 we show a complete bootstrapping example of the Shepody

Figure 6. An example of complete bootstrap of the formation mean and its

condence cone (10

6

simulations, only rst 1000 plotted): the open circles

and the smaller ellipse are for the Shepody Fm. data without error of f and

respective condence. The symbol x and the larger ellipse are for a 30 per

cent error of f randomly generated at each site. The larger ellipse is shifted

towards higher inclinations by the bias (please refer to text for details).

Upper hemisphere of a unit sphere projection.

formation mean and its 95 per cent condence cone, assuming a

30 per cent error of f . We have rst bootstrapped the mean using

the original site-means without considering the error of f . The

formation mean direction was estimated using the orientation matrix

and angles of the 95 per cent condence cone were found as 95

per cent quantiles (open circles and smaller ellipse in Fig. 6). The

resulting formation mean inclination is I

F

=30.21

, and condence

angles a

F

=8.92

, b

F

=4.81

simulated using a 30 per cent error of f (symbol x and larger ellipse

in Fig. 6). The formation mean changed to I

F

= 31.53

(1.32

F

=10.18

(1.26

larger), b

F

= 4.82

.

The resulting condence angles and the steepening of the mean

direction are reported in Table 3 together with estimates given by

eqs (8), (10) and (14). The comparison shows that these analytical

estimates work sufciently well, so that they can be used as a rst-

order approximation. Their advantage is that they can be easily

computed without the tedious and time-consuming bootstrap.

3 OTHER HAEMATI TE- BASED

I NCLI NATI ON CORRECTI ONS

We have semi-quantitatively evaluated what the effect of the

anisotropy-based inclination correction is on the nal condence

ellipse of inclination corrections made to other haematite-bearing

sedimentary rocks. Bearing in mind that the study of Shepody Fm.

revealed an error for f of 15 per cent, we have performed simu-

lations on the other formations assuming zero, 15 and also 30 per

cent errors of f. Calculations using the analytical estimates given by

eqs 8 and 10 have also been performed (Table 3). Results indicate

that even when a 30 per cent error is assumed the nal condence

ellipses of all formations increase by 1

formation mean, I

F

, given by bootstrapping is also reported in Ta-

ble 3 together with the bias of the formation means as estimated by

eq. 14.

Given that the 15 per cent error of f of the Shepody Fm. is

already a slight overestimate arising from the overestimation of the

errors of q

z

and q

x

, we feel that testing the effect of the inclination

correction on other formations using a 30 per cent error provides a

reasonable highest end-member for the uncertainty. When applying

inclination corrections to haematite-bearing rocks it is reasonable

to assume an uncertainty in the f -factor intermediate between 0 and

30 per cent which will enlarge the condence ellipses by less than

1

mean can be neglected.

Inclination corrections have also been performed on magnetite-

bearing rocks. Although the equation for f is slightly different due

to different orientation distributions expected for oblate haematite

and prolate magnetite particles [please refer to Tan & Kodama

(2003) for a discussion on the two equations], inclination correction

studies have similar uncertainties in the determination of q

z

, q

x

and

a, therefore it is very reasonable to assume that the nal propagated

uncertainty is comparable to that of haematite-bearing rocks.

4 COMPARI SON WI TH OTHER

I NCLI NATI ON CORRECTI ON

TECHNI QUES

The elongation inclination technique (E/I) of Tauxe & Kent (2004)

is a method for correcting palaeomagnetic inclinations that relies

on models of the geomagnetic eld. The main advantage of the

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8 D. Bilardello, J. Jezek and K.P. Kodama

Table 3. Results of the propagated errors through corrected haematite-bearing formations: f is the relative error of the f factor (equal at all sites).

95

and

95

are the long and short semi-axes of the condence cone (in degrees), respectively, derived by both bootstrap and analytical techniques (eqs 8 and 10). I

F

is the bias (steepening) of the mean direction (in degrees) derived using eq. 14 (please refer to text for details on the simulations and equations used).

f 0 (per cent) f 15 (per cent) f 30 (per cent)

95

95

95

95

I

F

95

eqs (8) I

F

95

95

I

F

95

eqs (8) I

F

Formation bootstrap bootstrap bootstrap bootstrap bootstrap and (10) eq. (14) bootstrap bootstrap bootstrap and (10) eq. (14)

Shepody 8.90 4.80 9.15 4.76 0.32 9.12 0.33 10.16 4.75 1.28 9.74 1.33

Maringouin 15.11 10.15 15.41 10.14 0.28 15.35 0.27 16.43 10.17 1.13 16.04 1.14

Mauch Chunk 9.57 5.56 9.8 5.56 0.27 9.76 0.29 10.38 5.54 1.07 10.29 1.1

Kapusaliang 6.36 5.95 6.63 5.97 0.25 6.76 0.25 7.63 6.02 0.98 7.83 0.94

f , relative error of the f factor (equal at all sites).

95

and

95

, long and short semi-axes of condence cone (in degrees).

I

F

, bias (steepening) of the mean direction (in degrees).

Figure 7. Bootstrap simulations of different haematite-bearing formations: (A) Shepody Fm., (B) Maringouin Fm., (C) Mauch Chunk Fm., (D) Kapusaliang

Fm. All plots show results of 10

6

simulations (only rst 300 plotted) using zero (circles) and 30 per cent (symbol x) error of f with corresponding (smaller and

larger) condence ellipses. The difference between the large and small condence ellipses is 1

same order (the ellipse is shifted towards higher inclinations with increasing error of f ; for exact values please refer to Table 3). All plots have the same scale.

technique is that it does not require measurements of the magnetic

fabric and particle anisotropy, bypassing time-consuming labora-

tory procedures. However it does require a very large number of site

means for the E/I technique to yield statistically signicant results

(Tauxe & Kent 2004). Therefore, the method works well for studies

that have been designed specically for the E/I technique or that al-

ready have larger numbers of site means, like magnetostratigraphic

studies or drill core analysis. Of course no typical palaeomagnetic

study exists, since the sampling scheme is dictated by the goals of

the study, rock type, accessibility of exposure, together with the sta-

tistical properties of the magnetization. Site numbers are often less

than the >100 directions that are ideally required by the E/I tech-

nique (Tauxe & Kent 2004), so when the E/I technique is applied

to a palaeomagnetic study taken from the literature the condence

interval is usually high.

For example, if we compare the results of the anisotropy-based

correction of the Shepody Fm. (Bilardello & Kodama 2010a) to

those of an E/I correction on the 19 site means of the same for-

mation, we nd that while the

e95

of the former, inclusive of the

bootstrap-propagated correction error, is 8.06

(I

c

= 30.1

), the

E/I technique yields a shallower corrected inclination with a much

broader condence interval (26.2

18.1

and 41.8

thus 8.1

and 15.6

correction.

In sedimentary rocks it can be assumed that each sample repre-

sents a geological instant in time, therefore it is reasonable to use

the E/I technique on individual sedimentary rock directions, granted

that the sites are evenly distributed in the section. When we apply

the E/I technique to the 104 directions measured for the Shepody

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Error propagation in inclination corrections 9

Fm, we obtain an uncorrected inclination of 20.7

, which corrects

to 30

and 37.6

, respectively,

indicating uncertainties (low and high) of 8.3

and 7.6

. The cor-

rection now agrees nicely with the anisotropy-based correction and

the uncertainties are also of similar magnitudes.

These results conrm those of Tauxe et al. (2008) who state that

for sample numbers smaller than 100150 the condence bounds

are large, limiting the reliability of the E/I method, but that for

larger sample numbers the E/I technique may be easier to apply

than anisotropy-based corrections. The advantage of the E/I tech-

nique is that it does not require measurements of the fabric and of the

individual particle anisotropy. However, while exact measurement

of the fabric may be laborious (e.g. McCabe et al. 1985; Jackson

1991; Bilardello & Kodama 2009a), at least for haematite a mean

individual particle anisotropy value of 1.38 can be used with con-

dence (reported in an earlier section). For magnetite, the individual

particle anisotropy must be determined by direct measurement or

estimated using curve tting techniques (Tan & Kodama 2002; Tan

et al. 2003) for each study.

An added benet of the anisotropy technique is that the study of

magnetic fabrics provides insight into the origin of the remanence

(e.g. Tauxe et al. 1990; Jackson 1991; Tarling & Hrouda 1993).

5 ESTI MATED CORRECTI ONS

It is difcult to determine the magnitude of an inclination correc-

tion without making the necessary fabric and individual particle

anisotropy measurements. However, from the ranges of observed

attening f -factors from haematite- and magnetite-bearing rocks

it is possible to estimate what the maximum effect of an inclina-

tion correction may be. Flattening f factors have been compiled for

haematite- and magnetite-bearing rocks and range between 0.40.83

and 0.540.79, respectively (Bilardello & Kodama 2010b). This

compilation comes from studies that conrm inclination shallow-

ing. While depositional inclination shallowing is consistently ob-

served in redeposition experiments and modelled numerically (e.g.

King 1955; Scherbakov & Scherbakova 1983; Lvlie & Torsvik

1984; Tauxe & Kent 1984; Mitra & Tauxe 2009), one must ex-

ercise caution: for instance some low-latitude sedimentary rocks

appear to have undergone little to no shallowing (Schimdt et al.

2009). It is possible, therefore, that inclination shallowing may

range from a maximum value (f = 0.4 for haematite, 0.54 for

magnetite) to zero (f = 1). These observations lead to a broader

range of possible inclination corrections for haematite than for

magnetite.

Recently, to evaluate the possible effects of inclination shallow-

ing, researchers have used a mean or representative value of f =

0.55 (Domeier et al. 2009; Kent & Irving 2010). Such an f value

derives primarily from the older studies of King (1955) and Tauxe

& Kent (1984).

We want to stress here that no mean value of f exists, because f

is dependent on the specic anisotropy of the rock formation, fol-

lowing eqs (2) and (3). If one needs to evaluate the maximum pos-

sible effect of inclination shallowing in rocks for which anisotropy

data do not exist, then the smallest f factor for that rock type

(haematite- or magnetite-bearing) must be used. The true incli-

nation will lie anywhere between the corrected and the measured

inclination. As more magnetic fabric studies are performed for incli-

nation shallowing corrections, the observed range of f values will be

rened.

6 DI SCUSSI ON AND CONCLUSI ON

In this paper we have outlined a procedure for propagating the un-

certainties in anisotropy-based inclination corrections of haematite-

bearing rocks by using bootstrap simulations and also analytic ap-

proximations.

The propagated uncertainty is a function of the measurement

errors of the a factor and the magnetic fabric as well as the scatter

in the corrected directions.

The additional uncertainty caused by the 15 per cent er-

ror/variability of the factor f of the Shepody Fm. caused an 0.31

rected mean inclination. Moderate errors of the f -factor therefore

do not substantially affect the estimate of the mean direction of the

formation in the context of a typical palaeomagnetic study. Both the

bootstrap technique and the analytic expressions where found to be

in accordance within the reasonable assumptions of small angles

and moderate within-site errors of the f -factor.

The propagation of the error was evaluated on other haematite-

bearing rock formations by using both the bootstrap technique and

the analytic approximations. End-member errors of the f -factor

0 and 30 per cent were chosen to provide a realistic range. For

all the four rock formations (Shepody included for comparison)

the increase of the condence ellipses and the steepening of the

corrected mean inclinations were 1

.

Acomparison with the elongation/inclination technique of Tauxe

& Kent (2004) indicates that if sufcient directions are available

(>100) then the corrections and their uncertainties are comparable.

However, for studies with smaller sample numbers the anisotropy-

based technique appears to give a better constrained correction.

For rock formations for which anisotropy data do not exist it

is possible to evaluate possible inclination shallowing by using

the smallest f factors that have been observed for haematite- and

magnetite-bearing rocks (Bilardello & Kodama 2010b). When this

is done one must bear in mind that the true corrected inclination may

lie anywhere between the measured inclination and that obtained by

the f factor used.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We would like to thank Jack Hillhouse for comments on the ini-

tial manuscript. Support to JJ was provided by CSF grant GACR

205/09/J028 and the project MSM0021620855. We would also like

to thank Mike Jackson and Lisa Tauxe for their thoughtful comments

that allowed substantial improvement to the manuscript.

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