Comparison and calibration of nonheating paleointensity methods: A case study using dusty olivine

Sophie Charlotte L.L. Lappe, Richard J. Harrison, Joshua M. Feinberg, Adrian Muxworthy

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26 Scopus citations


We present a comparative study of nonheating paleointensity methods, with the aim of determining the optimum method for obtaining paleointensities from "dusty olivine" in chondritic meteorites. The REM method, whereby thermoremanent magnetization (TRM) is normalized by saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM), is shown to "over normalize" TRM in dusty olivine due to the transformation of stable single-vortex (SV) states to metastable single-domain (SD) states in a saturating field. The problem of over normalization is reduced in the REMc and REM' methods, which more effectively isolate the high-coercivity stable SD component of remanence. A calibration factor of f = 1600 (1000 < f < 2900) is derived for the REM' method. Anhysteric remanent magnetization (ARM) is shown to be a near perfect analogue of TRM in the stable SD component of dusty olivine. ARM normalization of the high-coercivity (100-150 mT) remanence with a calibration factor fARM = 0.91 (0.7 < fARM < 1.2) yields paleofield estimates within ± 30% of the actual field values for SD dominated samples. A Preisach method for simulating TRM acquisition using information extracted from first-order reversal curve (FORC) diagrams is shown to work well for SD dominated samples, but fails when there is a large proportion of SV remanence carriers. The failure occurs because (1) SV states are not properly incorporated into the Preisach distribution of remanence carriers, and (2) the acquisition of TRM by SV states is not properly modeled by the underlying SD thermal relaxation theory. Key Points We present a review and calibration of non-heating paleointensity protocols The recommended method of paleointensity determination is ARM normalization The FORC method works well for SD states but fails for SV states

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2143-2158
Number of pages16
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • FORC
  • REM
  • dusty olivine
  • magnetism
  • meteorite
  • paleointensity


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