Cambrian and Silurian, low-grade, pelitic rocks of the single-phase deformed Brabant Massif consistently have a maximum magnetic susceptibility axis (K1) parallel to the cleavage/bedding intersection. In contrast, the minimum susceptibility axis (K3) either coincides with the bedding pole, with the cleavage pole or occupies an intermediate position. Anisotropy of anhysteretic remanence (AARM) and X-ray pole figure goniometry allow the distinguishing of the orientation distributions of the ferromagnetic and paramagnetic (white mica and chlorite) carriers, respectively. Mismatches between K3 and the poles to the macroscopic fabric elements (i.e. bedding and cleavage) are attributed to different orientations of the different magnetic (s.l.) carriers. A strong relationship exists between the cleavage/bedding angle and the shape parameter: low, respectively high angles leading to oblate, respectively prolate susceptibility ellipsoids. However, differences are observed between the Cambrian and Silurian samples in terms of the shape parameter and the behaviour of the degree of anisotropy with changing cleavage/bedding angle. This is tentatively attributed to differences in relative orientation and mineralogy of the magnetic (s.l.) carriers. These results demonstrate the influence of the relative orientation of the different carriers on AMS and suggest that, although being a petrofabric tool, AMS cannot be used as a strain gauge in the case of composite magnetic fabrics.
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Fabric is a ubiquitous and significant feature of geological materials. The processes involved in the formation and deformation of rocks and sediments leave their mark on the orientations of the constituent mineral grains. Petrofabrics thus provide essential keys to understanding the history of geological materials. Magnetic anisotropy is directly related to petrofabric, and has become one of the most rapid, sensitive and widely used tools for its characterization. The relationship between magnetic fabric and petrofabric is complex and depends on various factors including the composition, concentration and grain size of mineral grains. Ongoing research in geological applications is paralleled by studies of the fundamental mineral magnetic phenomena involved.
The papers in this book represent the current state of investigations in magnetic anisotropy studies as a discipline that integrates geological interpretations, mineral fabric development, technical advances and rock-magnetic properties.