Oxidation processes and their effects on the magnetic remanence of Early Cretaceous subaerial basalts from Sierra Chica de Córdoba, Argentina
S. E. Geuna, S. L. Lagorio, H. Vizán, 2015. "Oxidation processes and their effects on the magnetic remanence of Early Cretaceous subaerial basalts from Sierra Chica de Córdoba, Argentina", The Use of Palaeomagnetism and Rock Magnetism to Understand Volcanic Processes, M. H. Ort, M. Porreca, J. W. Geissman
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We carried out magnetic analyses on a sequence of Cretaceous alkaline–transitional subaerial basalts of Córdoba Province, Argentina, which have high-Ti magnetite as the main opaque phase. Three different groups are identified based on the degree of high-temperature oxidation during the lava extrusion, combined with superimposed maghemitization and hematization. In the first group, titanomagnetites are optically homogeneous or exhibit coarse intergrowths with ilmenite. The magnetic susceptibility and its variation with temperature and magnetic field point to Ti-poorer compositions than those indicated by electron microprobe, which is interpreted as due to low-temperature oxidation with subsolvus microexsolution. The second group of basalts suffered moderate high-temperature oxidation, with crowded exsolved ilmenite laths within a Ti-poor magnetitess host, followed by maghemitization and hematite replacement. The third group shows a strongly advanced degree of low-temperature alteration, with the virtual disappearance of magnetite. Based on magnetic properties and field tests applied to the magnetic remanence, we interpret that maghemitization and hematization must have been responsible for the acquisition of a stable magnetic remanence, in the presence of hydrothermal fluids coeval with volcanism. The most advanced degree of alteration, typical of highly porous amygdaloidal lava flows and volcanic breccias, occurred later, probably due to weathering.
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This volume provides a synopsis of current research on volcanic processes, as gained through the use of palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic techniques. Thermoremanent magnetization information provides a powerful means of deciphering thermal processes in volcanic deposits, including estimating the emplacement temperature of pyroclastic deposits, which allows us to understand better the rates of cooling during eruption and transport. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility and anisotropy of remanence are used primarily to investigate rock fabrics and to quantify flow dynamics in dykes, lava flows, and pyroclastic deposits, as well as identify vent locations. Rock-magnetic characteristics allow correlation of volcanic deposits, but also provide means to date volcanic deposits and to understand better their cooling history. Because lava flows are typically good recorders of past magnetic fields, data from them allow understanding of changes in geomagnetic field directions and intensity, providing clues on the origin of Earth’s magnetic field.