Understanding magnetic remanence acquisition through combined synthetic sediment deposition experiments and numerical simulations.

Monday, 15 December 2014: 9:15 AM
Dario Bilardello, University of Minnesota, Institute for Rock Magnetism, Minneapolis, MN, United States
Understanding depositional remanent magnetizations (DRMs) bears implications on interpreting paleomagnetic and paleointensity records extracted from sedimentary rocks. Laboratory deposition experiments have yielded DRMs with shallow remanent inclinations and revealed a field dependence of the magnetization (M), which is orders of magnitude lower than the saturation remanence. To investigate these observations further, experiments involving differently shaped particles were performed. Spherical particles confirmed the field dependence of both the inclination error and M and the fact that the DRM acquired experimentally is lower than saturation. A sediment concentration dependence of the inclination error was observed, indicating a dependance of the inclination error on the sediment load/burial depth or the sedimentation rate. Other outcome was the certainty that spherical particles alone can lead to substantial inclination shallowing. Numerical simulations of settling spherical particles indicated that DRM should be ~10 times lower than the saturation remanence and predicted that rolling of the grains on the sediment surface and particle interactions during settling can produce a substantial shallowing of the inclination and lowering of the remanence, bringing the simulations in close agreement to the experimental results. Experiments involving platy particles, instead allowed interesting comparisons and gave insight into the behavior of differently shaped particles, for instance yielding smaller amounts of shallowing than spheres, in contrast to general belief. Viewing DRM as an anisotropic process allows fitting the experimental results with tensors (kDRM). The ratios of kvertical over khorizontal are in good agreement to the ratios of M obtained in vertical over horizontal experimental fields, which should be equivalent to the widely used inclination shallowing factor f. Experimental results were highly repeatabile, however not always as repeatable for both M and inclination (direction) for both particle shapes, heighlighting that while a sediment might carry a stable remanent direction, it may not always be a particularily good paleointensity recorder.