The Brunhes–Matuyama reversal, named after Bernard Brunhes and Motonori Matuyama, was a geologic event, approximately 781,000 years ago, when the Earth's magnetic field last underwent reversal. The reversal may have occurred slowly over several thousand years, or more quickly; opinions vary. The apparent duration at any particular location varied from 1,200 to 10,000 years depending on geomagnetic latitude and local effects of non-dipole components of the Earth's field during the transition.
The Brunhes-Matuyama reversal is a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GBSSP), selected by the International Commission on Stratigraphy as a marker for the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, also known as the Ionian Stage. It is useful in dating ocean sediment cores and subaerially erupted volcanics.
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