Rock-magnetic properties of single zircon crystals sampled from the Tanzawa tonalitic pluton, central Japan

Masahiko Sato, Shinji Yamamoto, Yuhji Yamamoto, Yoshihiro Okada, Masao Ohno, Hideo Tsunakawa, Shigenori Maruyama

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    This paper reports on the rock-magnetic properties of single zircon crystals, which are essential for future work establishing the reliable paleointensity method using single zircon crystals. Zircon crystals used in this study were sampled from the Nakagawa River, which crosses the Tanzawa tonalitic pluton in central Japan. Rock-magnetic measurements were conducted on 1037 grains of zircons, but many of these measurements are below the limits of the sensitivity of the magnetometers employed. Isothermal remanent magnetizations (IRMs) of 876 zircon crystal are below the practical resolution of this study; we infer that these crystals contain no or only minute quantities of ferromagnetic minerals. The other zircon crystals contain enough magnetic minerals to be measured in the DC SQUID magnetometer. For 81 zircon crystals, IRM intensities (M IRM) are larger than 4∈×∈10-12 Am2, while natural remanent magnetization (NRM) intensities (M NRM) are below 4∈×∈10-12 Am2, indicating that these crystals are inappropriate for the paleomagnetic study. For the samples that had values of M NRM∈ ∈4∈×∈10-12 Am2 and M IRM∈ ∈4∈×∈10-12 Am2 (80 zircons), combining the rock-magnetic parameter, we proposed the sample-selection criteria for future study of paleointensity experiments using single zircon crystals. In the case that the samples had high coercivity (B c) values (>10 mT) or high M NRM/M IRM values (>∼0.1), main remanence carriers are probably pyrrhotite and these samples are inappropriate for the paleointensity study. In the case that the samples had low B c values (<10 mT) and low M NRM/M IRM values (<∼0.1), main remanence carriers seem to be nearly pure magnetite with pseudo-single-domain grain sizes, and these samples are expected to appropriate for the paleointensity study. Total thermoremanent magnetization (TRM) acquisition experiments were also carried out for 12 samples satisfying the above criteria. The TRM intensity was comparable with that of NRM, and a rough estimation of the paleointensity using NRM/TRM ratios shows field intensities consistent with the average geomagnetic field intensity at the Tanzawa tonalitic pluton for last 5 Myr.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number150
    JournalEarth, Planets and Space
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 22 2015


    • Paleointensity
    • Rock-magnetism
    • Tanzawa tonalitic pluton
    • Zircon

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geology
    • Space and Planetary Science


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