Characterization of Magnetic Mineral Assemblages in Clinkers: Potential Tools for Full Vector Paleomagnetic Studies

Sprain, Courtney J, Feinberg, Joshua M, Lamers, Riley and Bono, Richard K ORCID: 0000-0002-8222-2218
(2021) Characterization of Magnetic Mineral Assemblages in Clinkers: Potential Tools for Full Vector Paleomagnetic Studies. GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS, 22 (9).

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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>High‐quality paleointensity data are essential for improving our understanding of the geomagnetic field; however, it is challenging to find materials that reliably record full vector magnetization going back in time. Here, we examine a new candidate material for paleointensity studies: clinkers, which are rocks that have been baked, metamorphosed, or melted by underlying coal seam fires. Previous studies conducted on clinkers suggest that they may be high‐fidelity magnetic field recorders. However, due to the inhomogeneity of clinker deposits and limited scope of previous studies, it is unknown under what conditions these conclusions hold true. To better assess this, we quantified the variation of magnetic properties within clinker deposits collected from the Powder River Basin, Montana, as a function of lithology, oxidation state, distance from the coal seam, and location. Our results indicate that the clinker products contain three main magnetic minerals: magnetite, hematite, and the rare ε‐Fe<jats:sub>2</jats:sub>O<jats:sub>3</jats:sub>. Clinker lithology was found to be the primary control on magnetic mineralogy, where strongly baked sediment and porcellanite are dominated by varying proportions of hematite, ε‐Fe<jats:sub>2</jats:sub>O<jats:sub>3</jats:sub>, and magnetite, and paralavas are dominated by low‐Ti magnetite. All clinker materials are thermally stable and likely experienced temperatures in excess of the magnetite Curie temperature. Grain size analysis indicates that the magnetic particles in all clinker materials are amenable to high‐quality paleointensity study. In total, our study confirms that clinkers should be reliable full vector paleomagnetic recorders.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2021 15:49
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 20:05
DOI: 10.1029/2021GC009795
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