Magnetic Properties of Leg 158 Cores: the Origin of Remanence and its Relation to Alteration and Mineralization of the Active TAG Mound

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We present detailed rock magnetic results of sulfide, and basalt samples recovered at the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) hydrothermal mound on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near 26°N. The study involves a series of rock magnetic measurements and characterization of 46 minicore samples. These measurements were designed to investigate the origin of the magnetic rema- nence of the samples and allow an unambiguous identification of magnetic minerals and their distribution in the TAG mound. The Leg 158 cores displayed a multicomponent magnetization nature. No reversed magnetization was observed, which was expected as the mound was formed within the last 140 ka. Variations in magnetic properties correlate to changes in lithology that result from differences in the abundance and size of magnetic particles. Almost all sulfide samples from the TAG drilling areas contain small amounts of pyrrhotite and magnetite as shown by the transition around 40 K and by the Verwey transition in the vicinity of 118 K during the low-temperature cycling. The magnetization shows complexity both on a local scale and on a larger scale, with highly variable inclinations over relatively short distances along the core sections. The available evidence suggests that the remanence of sulfide samples is partly or wholly chemical in origin, probably as a result of heating and alter­ation related to hydrothermal fluid circulation. The combined investigation suggests that the magnetic properties of the basalt samples from the TAG-4 area are controlled mainly by magnetite and minor amounts of maghemite and hematite. The magnetic minerals of the basalts are of variable particle size, but fall within the pseudo-single domain size range (0.2-14 nm). The mean inclination of 20.8° obtained from the basalt samples is a significant departure from the expected 55° value and is surprising. One possible paleomagnetic interpretation of the shallow inclination results would be to propose that some tectonic rotation of the TAG mound has occurred sincc the basaltic lava flows were erupted.

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Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results



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Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Rocks--Magnetic properties--Mid-Atlantic Ridge; Hydrothermal alteration--Mid-Atlantic Ridge; Breccia--Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Subjects - Names (LCNAF)

Ocean Drilling Program

Geographic Coverage

Mid-Atlantic Ridge