A comparative study of magnetic anisotropy measurement techniques in relation to rock-magnetic properties

Dario Bilardello, Michael J. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Magnetic anisotropy measurements are becoming increasingly common to many studies within the different disciplines of geology, involving sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks.A plethora of techniques exists for measuring magnetic anisotropy of rocks. Some are rapid and non-destructive while others are more labor-intensive or may result in alteration of the magnetic minerals. All, however, have the potential of revealing a wealth of information when measured and interpreted correctly. In broad terms, anisotropy techniques subdivide into measurements of susceptibility, remanence and torque; here we consider the first two of these.Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) is by far the most utilized, and measures composite fabrics. Magnetic susceptibilities in high fields and low temperatures, however, are being increasingly used to isolate the paramagnetic contribution to the fabrics.When distinguishing between fabrics carried by different ferromagnetic phases, or to separate these from the diamagnetic and paramagnetic contributions to the fabric, then remanence anisotropy techniques become necessary. Anisotropies of thermal remanence (ATRMs), of anhysteretic remanence (AARM) and of isothermal remanence (AIRM) are the most common examples. Remanence anisotropy may be measured over the full spectrum of magnetic coercivities or over a targeted range (e.g. partial or ApARM). Moreover, anisotropies may be calculated using only the resolved field-parallel component of the vector, in which case a minimum of six different orientations is necessary to obtain a complete symmetric tensor, or using the three components (full vector) of the measured magnetic vectors (e.g. AvARM), in which case three orthogonal applied magnetizations are the minimum requirement.In this study we utilize a variety of magnetic remanence room temperature techniques to measure remanence anisotropy of selected coarse and finer grained gneiss-granulitic specimens with well-pronounced fabrics. Results are compared to room temperature AMS and are interpreted in terms of the applicability of instrumentation/technique to specific rock-magnetic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-54
Number of pages16
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank Dr. Paul Kelso for the original sampling of the Arunta specimens. We also thank the editors and two anonymous reviewers for their comments which helped improve the manuscript. Research was made possible by a National Science Foundation Instruments and Facilities grant that supports the IRM.


  • Anhysteretic remanence
  • Anisotropy
  • Isothermal remanence
  • Magnetic fabrics
  • Magnetic remanence
  • Magnetic susceptibility

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A comparative study of magnetic anisotropy measurement techniques in relation to rock-magnetic properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this