skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Friday, May 17 until 8:00 AM ET on Saturday, May 18 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: Micromagnetic simulations of first-order reversal curve (FORC) diagrams of framboidal greigite
SUMMARY Greigite is a sensitive environmental indicator and occurs commonly in nature as magnetostatically interacting framboids. Until now only the magnetic response of isolated non-interacting greigite particles have been modelled micromagnetically. We present here hysteresis and first-order reversal curve (FORC) simulations for framboidal greigite (Fe3S4), and compare results to those for isolated particles of a similar size. We demonstrate that these magnetostatic interactions alter significantly the framboid FORC response compared to isolated particles, which makes the magnetic response similar to that of much larger (multidomain) grains. We also demonstrate that framboidal signals plot in different regions of a FORC diagram, which facilitates differentiation between framboidal and isolated grain signals. Given that large greigite crystals are rarely observed in microscopy studies of natural samples, we suggest that identification of multidomain-like FORC signals in samples known to contain abundant greigite could be interpreted as evidence for framboidal greigite.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Journal International
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1126 to 1134
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this

    Quaternary lavas of the Stardalur Caldera, 20 km northeast of Reykjavik, Iceland, create a 27 300 nT magnetic anomaly visible in both ground and aeromagnetic surveys. Here, we provide a comprehensive mineralogical and rock magnetic data set to analyse NRM intensities and Koenigsberger ratios of 57 drill-core samples from the critical zone (CZ) of the anomaly high at depths between 41 and 131 m. This extends previous studies and verifies that the anomaly is due to an unusually high intensity of remanent magnetization carried by magnetite. The NRM of the CZ samples was acquired during the Olduvai subchron in a field of at most today’s strength. NRM intensities range from 20 to 128 A m–1 with a median of 55 A m–1, and an average of 61 A m–1, respectively, approximately 13–15 times higher than in typical Icelandic basalts (AIB) with an NRM intensity of 4 A m–1. Our new data set shows that the magnetite concentration throughout the CZ basalts is at most twofold higher than in AIB lavas. New data on domain state and TRM efficiency prove that these properties account for an additional factor of at most 2.3. Because magnetite is the most abundant remanence carrier in rocks on Earth, and its remanence acquisition is considered to be extremely well understood, we assert that the remaining discrepancy is a critical enigma in rock magnetism. Results from scanning electron microscopy show that a significant fraction of all CZ magnetite particles have dendritic shapes with grain sizes <1 μm, indicating rapid crystallization. Most large magnetite grains are heavily subdivided by very fine oxidation-exsolution lamellae of ilmenite, and subordinate amount of exsolved spinel as needles, blebs and blades. These common microstructures found throughout the CZ subdivide the initially homogeneous mineral into separate cubicles, here denoted as compartments. The magnetite compartments then have sizes below 1 μm. Hysteresis data, Preisach maps and FORC data consistently confirm that the coercivity distribution is dominated by values above 10 mT, such that multidomain behaviour is of little relevance in the CZ. Between 5 and 20 per cent of the IRM is carried by coercivities above 100 mT, which for magnetite indicates unusually high anisotropy effects in the individual particles. Based on the quantitative analysis of all magnetic contributions to the NRM, we can demonstrate that the average efficiency of NRM acquisition in the CZ Stardalur basalts must be at least a factor 3 higher than in typical basalts. We speculate that this is related to the observed focused compartment size distribution <1 μm, and indicates thermochemical remanence acquisition below the Curie temperature of magnetite. Yet, a detailed physical mechanism for the extreme overefficiency of NRM acquisition remains enigmatic.

    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Magnetic stability of iron mineral phases is a key for their use as paleomagnetic information carrier and their applications in nanotechnology, and it critically depends on the size of the particles and their texture. Ferrimagnetic greigite (Fe 3 S 4 ) in nature and synthesized in the laboratory forms almost exclusively polycrystalline particles. Textural effects of inter-grown, nano-sized crystallites on the macroscopic magnetization remain unresolved because their experimental detection is challenging. Here, we use ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) spectroscopy and static magnetization measurements in concert with micromagnetic simulations to detect and explain textural effects on the magnetic stability in synthetic, polycrystalline greigite flakes. We demonstrate that these effects stem from inter-grown crystallites with mean coherence length (MCL) of about 20 nm in single-domain magnetic state, which generate modifiable coherent magnetization volume (CMV) configurations in the flakes. At room temperature, the instability of the CVM configuration is exhibited by the angular dependence of the FMR spectra in fields of less than 100 mT and its reset by stronger fields. This finding highlights the magnetic manipulation of polycrystalline greigite, which is a novel trait to detect this mineral phase in Earth systems and to assess its fidelity as paleomagnetic information carrier. Additionally, our magneto-spectroscopic approach to analyse instable CMV opens the door for a new more rigorous magnetic assessment and interpretation of polycrystalline nano-materials. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Authigenic greigite may form at any time within a sediment during diagenesis. Its formation pathway, timing of formation, and geological preservation potential are key to resolving the fidelity of (paleo‐)magnetic signals in greigite‐bearing sediments. In the cored sequence of the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 362 (Sumatra Subduction Margin), multiple organic‐rich mudstone horizons have high magnetic susceptibilities. The high‐susceptibility horizons occur immediately below the most bioturbated intervals at the top of muddy turbidite beds. Combined mineral magnetic, microscopic, and chemical analyses on both thin sections and magnetic mineral extracts of sediments from a typical interval (∼1,103.80–1,108.80 m below seafloor) reveal the presence of coarse‐grained greigite aggregates (particles up to 50–75 μm in size). The greigite formed under nonsteady state conditions caused by the successive turbidites. Organic matter, iron (oxy)(hydr)oxides, Fe2+, and sulfides and/or sulfate were enriched in these intensively bioturbated horizons. This facilitated greigite formation and preservation within a closed diagenetic system created by the ensuing turbidite pulse, where pyritization was arrested due to insufficient sulfate supply relative to Fe (oxy)(hydr)oxide. This may represent a novel greigite formation pathway under conditions modulated by turbidites and bioturbation. Paleomagnetic analyses indicate that the early diagenetic greigite preserves primary (quasi‐)syn‐sedimentary magnetic records. The extremely high greigite content (0.06–1.30 wt% with an average of 0.50 wt% estimated from their saturation magnetization) implies that the bioturbated turbiditic deposits are an important sink for iron and sulfur. Mineral magnetic methods, thus, may offer a window to better understand the marine Fe–S–C cycle.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Gyro‐remanent magnetization (GRM) is a frequently occurring yet unwanted remanence contamination for certain samples during alternating field (AF) demagnetization of the natural remanent magnetization. The origin and detailed properties of GRM have not yet been fully understood. In this study, systematic rock magnetic analyses were conducted on marine greigite‐bearing samples of Hole U1433A drilled by the IODP Expedition 349 from the South China Sea. Results show that GRM is mostly acquired above ~55 mT AF demagnetization and can be effectively removed by heating to ~400°C during thermal demagnetization but a secondary tail could remain until ~585°C. In addition, no apparent GRM was observed during the AF demagnetization for the 400°C thermally treated samples. These results strongly suggest that GRM is dominantly carried by single domain (SD) greigite but with minor contributions from SD magnetite. Thus, thermal treatment alone or the hybrid demagnetization (i.e., thermal demagnetization at ~400°C first then systematical AF demagnetization) can efficiently avoid the GRM acquisition and be beneficial for relative paleointensity estimation for greigite‐bearing samples. Besides, GRM carried by greigite has a low thermal stability. Our results also show AF demagnetization spectra of anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM) could be strongly distorted by GRM effects due to both have a preference of SD particles. Thus, the median destructive field of ARM is improper to be used as a coercivity proxy for greigite‐bearing samples. Instead, the biplot analysis of AF demagnetization of natural remanent magnetization and ARM can be used to evaluate the relative content of greigite.

    more » « less
  5. SUMMARY Anisotropy of remanent magnetization and magnetic susceptibility are highly sensitive and important indicators of geological processes which are largely controlled by mineralogical parameters of the ferrimagnetic fraction in rocks. To provide new physical insight into the complex interaction between magnetization structure, shape, and crystallographic relations, we here analyse ‘slice-and-view’ focused-ion-beam (FIB) nano-tomography data with micromagnetic modelling and single crystal hysteresis measurements. The data sets consist of 68 magnetite inclusions in orthopyroxene (Mg60) and 234 magnetite inclusions in plagioclase (An63) were obtained on mineral separates from the Rustenburg Layered Suite of the Bushveld Intrusive Complex, South Africa. Electron backscatter diffraction was used to determine the orientation of the magnetite inclusions relative to the crystallographic directions of their silicate hosts. Hysteresis loops were calculated using the finite-element micromagnetics code MERRILL for each particle in 20 equidistributed field directions and compared with corresponding hysteresis loops measured using a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) on silicate mineral separates from the same samples. In plagioclase the ratio of remanent magnetization to saturation magnetization (Mrs/Ms) for both model and measurement agree within 1.0 per cent, whereas the coercivity (Hc) of the average modelled curve is 20 mT lower than the measured value of 60 mT indicating the presence of additional sources of high coercivity in the bulk sample. The VSM hysteresis measurements of the orthopyroxene were dominated by multidomain (MD) magnetite, whereas the FIB location was chosen to avoid MD particles and thus contains only particles with diameters <500 nm that are considered to be the most important carriers of palaeomagnetic remanence. To correct for this sampling bias, measured MD hysteresis loops from synthetic and natural magnetites were combined with the average hysteresis loop from the MERRILL models of the FIB region. The result shows that while the modelled small-particle fraction only explains 6 per cent of the best fit to the measured VSM hysteresis loop, it contributes 28 per cent of the remanent magnetization. The modelled direction of maximal Mrs/Ms in plagioclase is subparallel to [001]plag, whereas Hc does not show a strong orientation dependence. The easy axis of magnetic remanence is in the direction of the magnetite population normal to (150)plag and the maximum calculated susceptibility (χ*) is parallel to [010]plag. For orthopyroxene, the maximum Mrs/Ms, maximum χ* and the easy axis of remanence is strongly correlated to the elongation axes of magnetite in the [001]opx direction. The maximum Hc is oriented along [100]opx and parallel to the minimum χ*, which reflects larger vortex nucleation fields when the applied field direction approaches the short axis. The maximum Hc is therefore orthogonal to the maximum Mrs/Ms, controlled by axis-aligned metastable single-domain states at zero field. The results emphasize that the nature of anisotropy in natural magnetite does not just depend on the particle orientations, but on the presence of different stable and metastable domain states, and the mechanism of magnetic switching between them. Magnetic modelling of natural magnetic particles is therefore a vital method to extract and process anisotropic hysteresis parameters directly from the primary remanence carriers. 
    more » « less