An OSU Facility supported by the National Science Foundation

Welcome to the new, Paleo-and-Environmental Magnetism Laboratory in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. The P-Mag Lab is an NSF supported OSU facility dedicated to sediment magnetism and a resource for Pacific NW, national and international scientific communities.


The U-Channel Magnetometer

The P-Mag Lab is built around the unique capabilities of the new liquid helium free 2G Enterprises superconducting rock magnetometer (SRM) optimized for u-channel samples. U-channel samples are rigid u-shaped plastic liners (2 x 2 cm cross-section) that completely enclose cored sediments up to 1.5 m in length. This state-of-the-art system provides the capability to rapidly acquire high quality environmental and paleomagnetic data continuously on u-channel samples. The several orders of magnitude increase in data acquisitions allows new archives to be explored and older ones to be more thoroughly examined. Discrete samples can also be rapidly measured with this system.

Our Research

Our approach is to use the high throughput of the u-channel SRM to:

  1. Reconstruct the space/time patterns of the geomagnetic field.
  2. Develop and employ geomagnetic change as a stratigraphic dating tool.
  3. Reconstruct environmental variability through the rock magnetic response to laboratory magnetizations.

Materials for study come from a wide range of sources, including international science programs such as the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and the International Continental Drilling Program, PI driven field programs and retrospective research on the large core collection available at the OSU-Marine Geology Repository.

Recent Blog Posts


Summertime on the South Greenland Margin

The P-Mag lab continued investigating the history of the Greenland Ice Sheet this summer, collecting lake cores and cosmogenic nuclide samples from the South Greenland margin.  Brendan Reilly joined Gaylen Sinclair (PhD student, OSU) and spent about 2 weeks at a...

OSU P-mag Lab visits Western Washington University

du The P-mag lab is lucky to have REU student Elizabeth Patterson visit from Bates College this summer and work on the particle size specific magnetic properties of Gulf of Alaska margin sediments. In support of this project, Rob, Brendan, Leah, and Elizabeth spent...

New Greenland Icesheet publication in Nature

du Using sediment core evidence taken from the sea floor off Greenland’s coast Rob Hatfield and Joe Stoner of the P-mag lab in collaboration with Anders Carlson (OSU) and Alberto Reyes (U. Alberta) and others were able to estimate the extent of the Greenland Ice Sheet...