The magnetic fabric of rocks and sediments is most commonly characterized in terms of the anisotropy of low-field magnetic susceptibility (AMS). However, alternative methods based on remanent magnetization (measured in the absence of a magnetic field) rather than induced magnetization (measured in the applied field) have distinct advantages for certain geological applications. This is particularly true for; (1) adjunct studies in paleomagnetism, in order to assess the fidelity with which a natural remanence records the paleofield orientation; (2) studies of weakly magnetic or weakly deformed rocks, for which susceptibility anisotropy is very difficult to measure precisely; and (3) quantitative applications such as strain estimation. The fundamental differences between susceptibility and remanence (and their respective anisotropies) are due to several factors: (1) susceptibility arises from all of the minerals present in a sample, whereas remanence is carried exclusively by a relatively small number of ferromagnetic minerals; (2) ferromagnetic minerals are generally more anisotropic than para- and diamagnetic minerals; (3) for ferromagnetic minerals, remanence is inevitably more anisotropic than susceptibility; and (4) a number of common minerals, including single-domain magnetites, possess an inverse anisotropy of susceptibility, i.e., they tend to have minimum susceptibility parallel to the long axis of an individual particle; remanence is immune to this phenomenon. As a consequence of all these factors, remanence anisotropy may generally provide a better quantitative estimate of the actual distribution of particle orientations in a rock sample.
- Magnetic remanence
- magnetic fabric