Assessment and Integration of Bulk and Component-Specific Methods for Identifying Mineral Magnetic Assemblages in Environmental Magnetism

Ying Qian, Andrew Roberts, Yan Liu, Pengxiang Hu, Xiang Zhao, David Heslop, Katharine Grant, Eelco Rohling, Rick Hennekam, Jinhua Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Magnetic parameters are used extensively to interpret magnetic mineral assemblage variations in environmental studies. Conventional room temperature measurements of bulk magnetic parameters, like the anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM) and the ratio of the susceptibility of ARM to magnetic susceptibility (χ), can reflect, respectively, magnetic mineral concentration and/or particle size variations in sediments, although they are not necessarily well suited for identifying magnetic components within individual magnetic mineral assemblages. More advanced techniques, such as first‐order reversal curve (FORC) diagrams and low‐temperature (LT) magnetic measurements, can enable detailed discrimination of magnetic assemblages. Here, we integrate conventional bulk magnetic measurements alongside FORC diagrams, LT measurements, and X‐ray fluorescence core‐scan data, transmission electron microscope observations, and principal component analysis of FORC diagrams to identify and quantify magnetic mineral assemblages in eastern Mediterranean sediments. The studied sediments were selected because they contain complexly varying mixtures of detrital, biogenic, and diagenetically altered magnetic mineral assemblages that were deposited under varying oxic (organic‐poor marls) to anoxic (organic‐rich sapropels) conditions. Conventional bulk magnetic parameters provide continuous records of environmental magnetic variations, while more time‐consuming LT and FORC measurements on selected samples provide direct ground‐truthing of mineral magnetic assemblages that enables calculation of magnetization contributions of different end members. Thus, a combination of conventional bulk parameters and advanced magnetic techniques can provide detailed records from which the meaning of environmental magnetic signals can be unlocked.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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