The Niimi hot springs is located at the foot of Mt. Shyakunage in the active Niseko volcanic area, Hokkaido, Japan. The manganese (Mn) wad deposit was precipitated from the hot spring water by biomineralization processes. However, no precise direct age dates for the diagenesis of such Mn oxides have been reported. Here is reported the first paleomagnetic application to date Mn oxides on 144 disseminated Mn wad and 42 pyroclastic clay specimens. The Mn wad specimens were collected at 14 levels between ∼5.5 and ∼62 cm in thickness on a three-dimensional grid pattern, and the clay specimens were collected at seven levels between 85 and 118 cm in thickness. Alternating field step demagnetization isolates either one or two stable characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) components in the Mn wad specimens. The lower coercivity component resides in pseudosingle domain titanomagnetite and shows clustered ChRM directions at each sampling level. Conversely, the higher coercivity component resides in single domain titanomagnetite and shows more random directions. The higher coercivity component is likely carried by pyroclastic fragments that landed on the site. The remanent directions of the clay specimens reside in multidomain magnetite, are less stable, and show a scattered distribution. When the observed ChRM directions of the Mn wad specimens are compared with the paleosecular variation record from Lake Biwa in Japan, the Mn wad deposition records the secular variation and appears to have lasted at least ∼1600 years from ∼3.5 to ∼1.9 kyr BP.

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