Calibration of the pass-through magnetometer - II. Application

Parker, RL, Gee JS.  2002.  Calibration of the pass-through magnetometer - II. Application. Geophysical Journal International. 150:140-152.

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paleomagnetic instruments


We describe the experimental procedure we use to calibrate a cryogenic pass-through magnetometer. The procedure is designed to characterize the magnetometer sensitivity as a function of position within the sensing region. Then we extend a theory developed in an earlier paper to cover inexact observations and apply it to the data set. The theory allows the calculation of a smooth, harmonic, internally consistent interpolating function for each of the nine components of the response tensor of the magnetometer. With these functions we can calculate the response to a dipole source in any orientation and position, and predict the magnetometer signal from any kind of specimen. The magnetometer in the paleomagnetic laboratory onboard the research vessel Joides Resolution is the subject of one such experiment and we present the results. The variation with position of sensitivity is displayed in a series of plane slices through the magnetometer. We discover from the calibration model that the X and Z coils are misaligned so that the magnetic centre of the coils is displaced from the geometric centre by approximately 0.7 cm. We synthesize the signal expected from the magnetometer when a variety of simple cores are measured. We find that, unless appropriate corrections are made, changes in magnetization direction can appear as variations in magnetic intensity, and conversely, fluctuations in the magnetization strength can produce apparent swings in declination and inclination. The magnitude of these effects is not small and is certainly worth taking into account in the interpretation of records from this kind of instrument. In a pilot study on data from a core measured with the shipboard magnetometer, we observe some large distortions, particularly in declination, that are attributable to uncorrected instrumental effects.