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PDF File Stratigraphy: Magnetostratigraphy – Concepts, Definitions, and Applications. Abstract. The most characteristic feature of the Earth’s magnetic field is that it reverses polarity at irregu- lar intervals, producing a ‘bar code’ of alternating normal (north directed) and reverse (south directed) polar- ity chrons with characteristic durations. Magnetostratigraphy refers to the application of the well-known prin- ciples of stratigraphy to the pattern of polarity reversals registered in a rock succession by means of natural magnetic acquisition processes. This requires that the rock faithfully recorded the ancient magnetic field at the time of its formation, a prerequisite that must be verified in the laboratory by means of palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic techniques.