Magnetic Mineral Populations in Lower Oceanic Crustal Gabbros (Atlantis Bank, SW Indian Ridge): Implications for Marine Magnetic Anomalies
To learn more about magnetic properties of the lower ocean crust and its contributions to marine magnetic anomalies, gabbro samples were collected from International Ocean Discovery Program Hole U1473A at Atlantis Bank on the Southwest Indian Ridge. Detailed magnetic property work links certain magnetic behaviors and domain states to specific magnetic mineral populations. Measurements on whole rocks and mineral separates included magnetic hysteresis, first‐order reversal curves, low‐temperature remanence measurements, thermomagnetic analysis, and magnetic force microscopy. Characteristics of the thermomagnetic data indicate that the upper ~500 m of the hole has undergone hydrothermal alteration. The thermomagnetic and natural remanent magnetization data are consistent with earlier observations from Hole 735B that show remanence arises from low‐Ti magnetite and that natural remanent magnetizations are up to 25 A m−1 in evolved Fe‐Ti oxide gabbros, but are mostly <1 A m−1. Magnetite is present in at least three forms. Primary magnetite is associated with coarse‐grained oxides that are more frequent in the upper part of the hole. This magnetic population is linked to dominantly “pseudo‐single‐domain” behavior that arises from fine‐scale lamellar intergrowths within the large oxides. Deeper in the hole the magnetic signal is more commonly dominated by an interacting single‐domain assemblage most likely found along crystal discontinuities in olivine and/or pyroxene. A third contribution is from noninteracting single‐domain inclusions within plagioclase. Because the concentration of the highly magnetic, oxide‐rich gabbros is greatest toward the surface, the signal from coarse oxides will likely dominate the near‐bottom magnetic anomaly signal at Atlantis Bank.
Bowles, J. A., Morris, A., Tivey,M. A., & Lascu, I. (2020). Magnetic mineral populations in lower oceanic crustal gabbros (Atlantis Bank, SW Indian Ridge): Implications for marine magnetic anomalies. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 21, e2019GC008847. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GC008847