We have investigated the properties of natural magnetization of a lacustrine interglacial Riss–Würm deposit near Grenoble (France). Made up of accumulated argillite 250 m thick, this deposit comprises annual varves with an average thickness of 0.5 cm.The magnetic viscosity of this sediment is not very high, and we have demonstrated that the characteristic magnetization, measured after a moderate thermal treatment (between 160 and 220 °C) followed by alternating field demagnetization with maximum intensity at 200 Oe (15.9 × 103 A/m), is possibly a detrital magnetization carried by the magnetite (thermomagnetic and strong continuous field studies).On a local scale (area of about 100 m2), the direction of this magnetization remains very homogeneous within each horizon; sampling restricted to about 10 sites 1 m apart indicates for each level a mean direction of magnetization with a high accuracy: α95 = 1–2°, k = 500–2500. The aveage direction calculated by this method for different levels indicates significant stratigraphic variations (attaining an inclination of 20° and a declination of 50°), which are reached rapidly (from 1 to few degrees per year). Such variations cannot be reasonably attributed to changes in the directions of the Earth's magnetic field.A study of the acquired anisotropy of the thermal remanent magnetization indicates a magnetic anisotropy that is related to the lithological structure of the sediment and shows a strong intensity: the maximum divergence between the field direction and the acquired thermal remanent magnetization direction in this field varies, with individual samples, between 9 and 50°. The study of the properties of this anistotropy demonstrates the "infidelity" of the detrital magnetization: for one of the small vertical sequences studied for anisotropy the characteristic magnetization of a specified level has a direction nearer the axial direction of easy magnetization when the anisotropic intensity is large. This infidelity may be caused by different factors influencing the deposition of the sediment, particularly the variable directions of water flows determining the particle orientation. [Journal Translation]

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