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Title: Magnetic Properties of Lightning‐Induced Glass Produced From Five Mineral Phases

The physical properties of minerals are modified by the high temperatures of volcanic lightning during explosive eruptions. Alteration involves rapid heating and volatilization, melting, and fusion of ash grains within the discharge channel, followed by rapid quenching into new glassy textures. High current impulse experiments reveal that lightning alters not only the morphology and mineralogy of volcanic ash but also its magnetic properties. We investigate lightning‐induced magnetic changes in five igneous minerals (<32 μm powders of albite, labradorite, augite, hornblende, and magnetite) by comparing hysteresis parameters before and after impulse experiments conducted at peak currents of 25 and 40 kA. Both the paramagnetic and ferrimagnetic behaviors of the samples were altered, which we interpret as a superposition of two processes. (a) Rapid melting allows iron contained within inclusions of Fe‐oxides and Fe‐bearing silicates to diffuse into the newly formed melt, thereby increasing the paramagnetism of the resulting glass. (b) Nucleation and growth of magnetite from the newly formed melt increases the ferrimagnetic behavior of the post‐experimental samples. Nominally non‐Fe‐bearing silicates like albite and labradorite have significantly increased paramagnetism and ferrimagnetism. Fe‐bearing silicates like augite and hornblende contain higher concentrations of ferrimagnetic inclusions, from which Fe diffuses into the newly formed melt, thereby increasing paramagnetism while decreasing ferrimagnetism. Experiments conducted on magnetite produced new magnetite crystals with dendritic habits. Although specific to volcanic ash, these results provide important insights into the magnetism of other materials affected by lightning on Earth, the Moon, and throughout the solar system.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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