Publications

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1999
Gee, J, Kent DV.  1999.  Calibration of magnetic granulometric trends in oceanic basalts. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 170:377-390.   10.1016/s0012-821x(99)00125-9   AbstractWebsite

The validity of magnetic granulometric estimates relies heavily on the ability to distinguish ultrafine particles from coarser grains. For example, populations with dominantly superparamagnetic (SP) or multidomain (MD) grains both are characterized by low remanence and coercivity, and distinguishing these endmembers may provide valuable clues to the origin of magnetization in the intervening stable single domain (SD) size range. The natural grain size variations associated with variable cooling rates in submarine lavas provide a rare opportunity for examining progressive changes in average magnetic grain size, from SP-SD mixtures in submarine basaltic glass to SD-MD mixtures in flow interiors. Based on microanalysis and rock magnetic measurements on pillow basalt samples dredged from the flanks of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (ages <1 Ma to 70 Ma), a model of preferential dissolution with time of the finest-grained titanomagnetites has recently been suggested as the major process contributing to long-term temporal changes in remanent intensity of mid-ocean ridge basalts. We evaluated the local and long-term temporal trends in effective magnetic grain size predicted by this model using hysteresis data from a large number of submarine basalt samples which span a range of apes from similar to 0 to similar to 122 Ma. Specimens were systematically taken along transects perpendicular to the chilled margin of each sample. The large number of data (similar to 750 loops) and the inferred progressive change in grain size approaching the chilled margin allow recognition of mixing trends between MD and SD grains and between SD and SP grains on a Day-plot. These trends in hysteresis parameters are crucial to resolving the inherent, but frequently overlooked, ambiguity in inferring grain size from hysteresis parameters. We illustrate that two additional rock magnetic tests (warming of a low-temperature isothermal remanence and hysteresis loop shapes) often used to address these ambiguities are inconclusive, requiring some independent knowledge of whether SP or MD grains are likely to be present. Even with a considerably larger data set the substantial intrasample variability in oceanic basalts precludes recognition of any systematic trend in magnetic grain size with age. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

2002
Bowles, J, Gee J, Hildebrand J, Tauxe L.  2002.  Archaeomagnetic intensity results from California and Ecuador: evaluation of regional data. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 203:967-981.   10.1016/s0012-821x(02)00927-5   AbstractWebsite

We present new archaeointensity data for southeastern California (similar to33degreesN, similar to115degreesW, 50-1500 yr BP) and northwestern South America (Ecuador, 2.4degreesS, 80.7degreesW, 4000-5000 yr BP). These results represent the only data from California, as well as the oldest archaeointensity data now available in northwestern South America. In comparing our results to previously published data for the southwestern United States and northwestern South America, we note that significant scatter in the existing data makes comparisons and interpretations difficult. We undertake an analysis of the sources of data scatter (including age uncertainty, experimental errors, cooling rate differences, magnetic anisotropy, and field distortion) and evaluate the effects of scatter and error on the smoothed archaeointensity record. By making corrections where possible and eliminating questionable data, scatter is significantly reduced, especially in South America, but is far from eliminated. However, we believe the long-period fluctuations in intensity can be resolved, and differences between the Southwestern and South American records can be identified. The Southwest data are distinguished from the South American data by much higher virtual axial dipole moment values from similar to 0-600 yr BP and by a broad low between similar to 1000-1500 yr BP. Comparisons to global paleofield models reveal disagreements between the models and the archaeointensity data in these two regions, underscoring the need for additional intensity data to constrain the models in much of the world. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

2007
Selkin, PA, Gee JS, Tauxe L.  2007.  Nonlinear thermoremanence acquisition and implications for paleointensity data. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 256:81-89.   10.1016/j.epsl.2007.01.017   AbstractWebsite

In paleointensity studies, thermoremanence is generally regarded as a linear function of ambient inagnetic field at low fields comparable to that of the present-day Earth. We find pronounced nonlinearity at low fields for a class of materials with silicate-hosted magnetite that otherwise perforin well in paleointensity experiments. We model this nonlinearity with narrow size ranges of large, acicular single domain grains, which are most likely in a vortex state (i.e. nonuniformly magnetized, sometimes labeled pseudosingle domain). Simple TRM theory predicts that even certain single domain particles will also exhibit a nonlinear response, saturating in fields as low as the Earth's. Such behavior, although likely to be rare, may bias some paleointensity estimates. The bias is especially pronounced when the laboratory field is higher than the ancient field. Fortunately, the fundamental assumption that thermoremanence is proportional to applied field can (and should) be routinely checked at the end of successful paleointensity experiments by adding two extra heating steps. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

2011
Mitra, R, Tauxe L, Gee JS.  2011.  Detecting uniaxial single domain grains with a modified IRM technique. Geophysical Journal International. 187:1250-1258.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05224.x   AbstractWebsite

Mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) specimens have often been found to have high ratios of saturation remanence to saturation magnetization (M(rs)/M(s)). This has been attributed either to dominant cubic anisotropy or to insufficient saturating field leading to overestimation of M(rs)/M(s) of a dominantly uniaxial single domain (USD) assemblage. To resolve this debate, we develop an independent technique to detect USD assemblages. The experimental protocol involves subjecting the specimen to bidirectional impulse fields at each step. The experiment is similar to the conventional isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) acquisition experiment but the field is applied twice, in antiparallel directions. We define a new parameter, IRAT, as the ratio of the remanences at each field step and show it to have characteristic behaviour for the two assemblages; IRAT similar to 1 at all field steps for USD and <1 with a strong field dependence for multi-axial single domain (MSD) grains. We verified the theoretical predictions experimentally with representative USD and MSD specimens. Experiments with MORBs gave low IRATs for specimens having high M(rs)/M(s). This argues for a dominant MSD assemblage in the MORBs, possibly cubic in nature. Although undersaturation of the samples can indeed be a contributing factor to the exceptionally high M(rs)/M(s), this study shows that the nature of the assemblage cannot be dominantly USD.