Faculty of Physical Science

The paleomagnetic group was founded in 1989, being at present one of the major paleomagnetic groups in Europe. It is led by Prof. M.L. Osete and is formed by 5 staff members (M.L. Osete, V.C. Ruiz Martinez, F. Martin Hernández, Miriam Gómez-Paccard, and F. Javier Pavón-Carrasco), 2 postdocs, 4 PhD students and 6 technicians and research support assistants. The main research themes of the group are geomagnetic secular variation, archeomagnetism, geomagnetic modeling and paleomagnetic reconstructions, magnetic properties of rocks and archeological baked clays, environmental magnetism, block rotations and plate tectonic reconstructions. The team has an international reputation for the integration of geology, archeology and mathematics. Its experience in training young scientists at Masters, Ph.D. and postdoctorate levels is very extensive. The group published several SCI papers (e.g. Scientific Reports, EPSL, JGR, GRL, Basin Research, Gcubed). During the last years, the group has participated with invited talks in the most prestigious congress in Earth Sciences: EGU (2008), AGU (2008, 2009, 2019), IUGG (2011) and in organization of specific workshops and sessions within AGU and EGU meetings. Most significant active collaborations are developed with ETH Zürich, IPG Paris, INGV Roma and universities of Utrecht, Oslo, Rennes 1, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. More info:

There are two laboratories at the UCM related to the Paleomagnetic Group: the Service of Paleomagnetism and the Laboratory of Paleomagnetism.
Service of Paleomagnetism (CAI ‘Tecnicas Fisicas’ of UCM): This laboratory includes high-cost equipment: Magnetic shielded room (Lodestar Magnetics), Cryogenic magnetometer SQUID2G in line with AF demagnetizer and ARM acquisition system, A MMTD80 thermal demagnetizer completes this system and variable field translation balance (MMVFTB).
Faculty CC Fisicas of UCM (Laboratory of Paleomagnetism): Fieldwork instruments. Demagnetization instrument (oven and AF demagnetizer). Magnetometers (spinner JR5A and 2 spinner Molspin). MMLFC magnetic shielded room. Susceptibility meters Bartington MS2 and KLY4S. Minisep and KLY4S. Impulse magnetizer ASC Scientific. Coercivity spectrometer of the University of Kazan for acquisition of hysteresis curves. 11 personal computers and super-computers. Programs of treatment and analysis of paleomagnetic data.

The Earth’s magnetic field is characterized by sudden changes in its secular variation at different time scale: the archeomagnetic jerks at centennial time scales and the geomagnetic jerks at annual time scales. Their origin, periodic or random occurrence, global or regional character, are still open questions in the scientific community and suppose an important challenge in the areas of Earth Sciences. Finding geophysical phenomena related to the occurrence of archeomagnetic and geomagnetic jerks, results a vital contribution to shed light on the origin of these rapid impulses and better understand the internal dynamics of the geomagnetic field. At millennial scale, the paleomagnetic reconstructions based on paleomagnetic data (archeomagnetic and volcanic data) provide an important tool to analyze the behavior and occurrence of the archeomagnetic jerks. In this context, the paleomagnetic group of UCM is one of the international research group leading the paleomagnetic reconstruction and its application to study the occurrence of archeomagnetic jerks. In addition, the instrumental geomagnetic data coming from observatories and satellites provide a detailed picture of the geomagnetic field variations for the last decades. Recently, the paleomagnetic group is also working in this area, providing regional and global models of the present geomagnetic field, such as one of the last candidates for IGRF-13 product. These models can be used to study the geomagnetic jerks.