skip to main content

Title: Domain State and Temperature Dependence of Pressure Remanent Magnetization in Synthetic Magnetite: Implications for Crustal Remagnetization

Pressure remanent magnetization (PRM) is acquired when a rock is compressed in the presence of a magnetic field. This process can take place in many different environments from impact and ejection processes in space, to burial and subsequent uplifting of terrestrial rocks. In this study, we systematically study the acquisition of PRM at different pressures and temperatures, using synthetic magnetite in four different grain sizes ranging from nearly single‐domain to purely multidomain. The magnitude of the PRM acquired in a 300 μTfield is, within error, independent of the domain state of the sample. We propose that the acquisition of a PRM is mainly driven by the magnetostriction of the magnetic material. We further show that compared to a thermal remanent magnetization, the acquisition of PRM in large multidomain grains can be quite efficient, and may represent a significant component of magnetization in low‐temperature–high‐pressure environments.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
1642268 1620582
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 2473-2483
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. Abstract

    We examine the behavior of natural basaltic and trachytic samples during paleointensity experiments on both the original and laboratory‐acquired thermal remanences and characterize the samples using proxies for domain state including curvature (k) and the bulk domain stability parameters of Paterson (2011, and Paterson et al. (2017,, respectively. A curvature value of 0.164 (suggested by Paterson, 2011, as a critical threshold that separates single‐domain‐like remanences from multidomain‐like remanances on the original paleointensity data was used to separate samples into “straight” (single‐domain‐like) and “curved” (multidomain‐like) groups. Specimens from the two sample sets were given a “fresh” thermal remanent magnetization in a 70 μT field and subjected to an infield‐zerofield, zerofield‐infield (IZZI)‐type (Yu et al., 2004, paleointensity experiment. The straight sample set recovered the laboratory field with high precision while the curved set had much more scattered results (70.5 ± 1.5 and 71.9 ± 5.2 μT, respectively). The average intensity of both sets for straight and curved was quite close to the laboratory field of 70 μT, however, suggesting that if experiments contain a sufficient number of specimens, there does not seem to be a large bias in the field estimate. We found that the dependence of the laboratory thermal remanent magnetization on cooling rate was significant in most samples and did not depend on domain states inferred from proxies based on hysteresis measurements and should be estimated for all samples whose cooling rates differ from that used in the laboratory.

    more » « less
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Abstract

    The magnetization of hematite‐bearing sedimentary rocks provides critical records of geomagnetic reversals and paleogeography. However, the timing of hematite remanent magnetization acquisition is typically difficult to constrain. While detrital hematite in sediment can lead to a primary depositional remanent magnetization, alteration of minerals through interaction with oxygen can lead to the postdepositional formation of hematite. In this study, we use exceptionally preserved fluvial sediments within the 1.1‐billion‐year‐old Freda Formation to gain insight into the timing of hematite remanence acquisition and its magnetic properties. This deposit contains siltstone intraclasts that were eroded from a coexisting lithofacies and redeposited within channel sandstone. Thermal demagnetization, petrography, and rock magnetic experiments on these clasts reveal two generations of hematite. One population of hematite demagnetized at the highest unblocking temperatures and records directions that rotated along with the clasts. This component is a primary detrital remanent magnetization. The other component is removed at lower unblocking temperatures and has a consistent direction throughout the intraclasts. This component is held by finer‐grained hematite that grew and acquired a chemical remanent magnetization following deposition resulting in a population that includes superparamagnetic nanoparticles in addition to remanence‐carrying grains. The data support the interpretation that magnetizations of hematite‐bearing sedimentary rocks held by >400‐nm grains that unblock close to the Néel temperature are more likely to record magnetization from the time of deposition. This primary magnetization can be successfully isolated from cooccurring authigenic hematite through high‐resolution thermal demagnetization.

    more » « less