Volcanic glass and its suitability to recover the ancient geomagnetic field strength
A. Ferk, R. Leonhardt, K.-U. Hess, D. B. Dingwell, 2015. "Volcanic glass and its suitability to recover the ancient geomagnetic field strength", The Use of Palaeomagnetism and Rock Magnetism to Understand Volcanic Processes, M. H. Ort, M. Porreca, J. W. Geissman
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The determination of the past ancient magnetic field intensity is typically very difficult and error prone. Fresh volcanic glass has been suggested to be an ideal material for obtaining direction and strength of the magnetic field. Domain state bias is generally absent, thermal alteration is normally negligible and, as demonstrated in this study, cooling-rate differences can be corrected for. Major issues remaining include alteration and the origin of the remanence: that is, whether it is a true thermo-, a thermochemical or, for altered samples, a chemical remanence. Hydration, devitrification and perlitization lead to incorrect estimates of the palaeointensity, which are very difficult to recognize as the palaeointensity analysis does not easily expose these biasing effects and points towards ‘reliable’ results. Particular care on sampling and/or volatile measurements are necessary to overcome these drawbacks.
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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.