AF demagnetization and ARM acquisition at elevated temperatures in natural titanomagnetite bearing rocks

Michael W.R. Volk, Michael Eitel, Mike Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the temporal changes of the Earth's magnetic field intensity is one of the main goals of modern palaeomagnetism. For most palaeointensity methods to yield reliable results, the magnetic minerals must obey a set of rules. One of these rules is the additivity of partial thermal (TRM) or anhysteretic remanent magnetizations (ARM). Additivity was previously shown for partial TRM in single-domain particles and more generally for ARMs. Additivity between these two low-field remanences, however, has not been investigated, yet. This paper presents a series of rock magnetic experiments on natural low Ti titanomagnetites (Curie temperature between 534 °C and 561 °C) examining the effects of high temperatures on alternating field (AF) demagnetization and acquisition of an ARM. One of our sample sets comes from a borehole drilled through the impact melt sheet of the Manicouagan crater (Canada), the other from the Rocche Rosse lava flow on the island of Lipari (Italy). Hysteresis parameters indicate the magnetic carriers in the pseudo-single-domain range showing no evidence for oxidation. Thermal demagnetization at 300 °C and 500 °C before AF demagnetization shifts the coercivity spectra towards higher fields. AF demagnetization experiments at 500 °C show a significant (by a factor between 1.4 and >7.6) reduction in median destructive field and a shift towards lower coercivities. A linear relationship was found between the peak magnetic field required to demagnetize a fraction of a full TRM of a sample at a specific temperature and the one necessary to demagnetize the same fraction at room temperature after heating to that temperature. The comparison of full ARM and partial TRM at successively higher temperatures with a hybrid hTARM reveals that combined additivity between the two kinds of remanences is fulfilled. These results open the possibility to demagnetize highly coercive minerals, such as hematite and goethite, which is often not achievable at elevated temperatures. Furthermore, the additivity of TRM and ARM remanences may be used to develop novel hybrid TRM/ARM palaeointensity methods for samples, where heating is problematic (e.g. in meteorites).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-296
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 17 2019


  • Magnetic properties
  • Remagnetization
  • Rock and mineral magnetism

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