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2018
Avery, MS, Gee JS, Bowles JA, Jackson MJ.  2018.  Paleointensity estimates from ignimbrites: The Bishop Tuff Revisited. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 19:3811-3831.   10.1029/2018gc007665   AbstractWebsite

Volcanic ash flow tuffs (ignimbrites) may contain single domain-sized (titano) magnetite that should be good for recording geomagnetic field intensity, but due to their complex thermal histories also contain other magnetic grains, which can complicate and obscure paleointensity determination. An initial study of the suitability of the similar to 767ka Bishop Tuff for measuring paleointensity found an internally consistent estimate of 43.03.2T. This initial study also showed a spatial heterogeneity in reliable paleointensity estimates that is possibly associated with vapor-phase alteration and fumarolic activity, which motivated resampling of the Bishop Tuff to examine spatial changes in magnetic properties. Three new stratigraphic sections of the Bishop Tuff within the Owens River gorge were sampled, and the paleointensity results from the initial study in the same locality were reinterpreted. The mean of all sites is 41.911.8T; this agrees with the initial study's finding but with substantially greater scatter. Two sections show evidence of vapor-phase alteration where the presence of titanohematite, likely carrying a thermochemical remanence, produces nonideal behavior. This thermochemical remanence in the upper portion of the section also produces some paleointensity estimates of technically high quality that have significantly higher intensity than the rest of the tuff. Our best estimate for paleointensity, 39.69.9T, comes from the densely welded ignimbrite that was emplaced above the Curie temperature of magnetite. The low permeability of this unit likely shielded it from vapor-phase alteration. Our results suggest that care must be taken in interpreting paleointensity data from large tuffs as nonthermal remanence may be present. Understanding past variations of Earth's magnetic field help us understand processes in Earth's core and help us to better understand current field behavior, which is important to life on Earth. Earth's field is recorded by magnetic-minerals in rocks as they form. Variations in the strength of the magnetic field (paleointensity) are less well known than large variations in direction. This is partially due to the difficulty in identifying rocks that are suitable for paleointensity experiments. Rocks made of volcanic ash (ignimbrites) have been shown to successfully record the field strength during recent volcanic eruptions. However, we show evidence that ignimbrites may not all be suitable for paleointensity studies. The Bishop Tuff, located in eastern California, erupted about 767 thousand years ago, emplacing a large volume (similar to 200km(3), i.e., about 80 million Olympic swimming pools or slightly bigger than Lake Tahoe) of ash and lava over a few days. With samples from the Bishop Tuff we test variations in magnetic-mineralogy that may be related to venting volcanic gas, interaction with water, eruption temperatures, or the degree to which the ash compacted and solidified into rock. These factors affect the magnetic-minerals' ability to record paleointensity and the success rate of our experiments.

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.

2001
Gee, JS, Webb SC, Ridgway J, Staudigel H, Zumberge MA.  2001.  A deep tow magnetic survey of Middle Valley, Juan de Fuca Ridge. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 2   10.1029/2001GC000170   AbstractWebsite

We report here results from a deep tow magnetic survey over Middle Valley, Juan de Fuca Ridge. A series of track lines are combined to generate a high-resolution map of the magnetic field anomaly within a 10 x 12 km region surrounding the Bent Hill massive sulfide (BHMS) deposit. A uniformly magnetized body (5 A/m) with a cross section approximating the body inferred from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) drilling can account for the observed near-bottom magnetic anomaly amplitude. Assuming this magnetization is entirely induced, the average susceptibility (0.11 SI) corresponds to similar to3.5% magnetite + pyrrhotite by volume, consistent with the abundance of these phases observed in drill core samples. However, this uniform magnetization model significantly underestimates the magnetic anomaly measured a few meters above the seafloor by submersible, indicating that the upper portion of the sulfide mound must have a significantly higher magnetization (similar to 10% magnetite + pyrrhotite) than at deeper levels. On a larger scale, the near-bottom magnetic anomaly data show that basement magnetizations are not uniformly near zero, as had been inferred from analysis of the sea surface anomaly pattern. We interpret this heterogeneity as reflecting primarily differences in the degree of hydrothermal alteration. Our results highlight the potential of magnetic anomaly data for characterizing hydrothermal deposits where extensive drill core sampling is not available.

1999
Varga, RJ, Gee JS, Bettison-Varga L, Anderson RS, Johnson CL.  1999.  Early establishment of seafloor hydrothermal systems during structural extension: paleomagnetic evidence from the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 171:221-235.   10.1016/s0012-821x(99)00147-8   AbstractWebsite

Paleomagnetic data from the Troodos ophiolite are used to help constrain models for the relationship between extensional normal faulting and hydrothermal alteration related to production of large-tonnage sulfide deposits at oceanic ridges. We have sampled dikes from the Troodos sheeted complex that have been subjected to variable hydrothermal alteration, from greenschist alteration typical of the low water/rock mass ratio interactions outside of hydrothermal upflow zones as well as from severely recrystallized rocks (epidosites) altered within high water/rock mass ratio hydrothermal upflow zones in the root zones beneath large sulfide ore deposits. These dikes are moderately to highly tilted from their initial near-vertical orientations due to rotations in the hangingwalls of approximately dike-parallel, oceanic normal faults. Comparison of characteristic remanence directions from these dikes with the Late Cretaceous Troodos reference direction, therefore, allows a tilt test to determine whether remanent magnetizations were acquired prior to or subsequent to tilting. Remanence directions for both greenschist and epidosite dikes show similar magnitudes of tilting due to rotational normal faulting and restore to the Late Cretaceous Troodos reference direction upon restoration of dikes to near-vertical positions about a NNW-trending, horizontal axis. These data, along with field observations of focused alteration along normal faults, suggest that epidosite alteration occurred during the early stages of extensional tilting and prior to significant rotation. This sequence of events is similar to that observed for creation of large-tonnage sulfide bodies at intermediate to slow spreading centers which form soon after cessation of magmatism and during the early stages of structural extension. We suggest that the dike-parallel normal faults were initiated as extensional fractures during this early stage of crustal extension, thus providing the necessary permeability for focused fluid flow, and that later slip along these structures during rotational-planar normal faulting caused reduction in permeability due to gouge formation. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.