Publications

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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.

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.

1997
Gee, J, Kent DV.  1997.  Magnetization of axial lavas from the southern East Pacific Rise (14 degrees-23 degrees S): Geochemical controls on magnetic properties. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 102:24873-24886.   10.1029/97jb02544   AbstractWebsite

Although the spatial association of iron-rich lavas and high-amplitude magnetic anomalies is well documented, a causal link between enhanced iron content and high remanent magnetization has been difficult to establish. Here we report magnetic data from approximately 250 samples, with 8-16% FeO* (total iron as FeO), from the southern East Pacific Rise (EPR) that provide strong support for the presumed geochemical dependence of remanent intensity. The limited age range (0-6 ka) of axial lavas from this ultrafast spreading ridge (similar to 150 mm/yr full rate) effectively minimizes variations resulting from time dependent chan or low-temperature alteration. Systematic sampling relative to the chilled margin illustrates that substantial grain size-related variations in magnetic properties occur on a centimeter scale. Both microprobe data and Curie temperatures suggest that the average groundmass titanomagnetite composition in the southern EPR samples is approximately constant (modal modified ulvospinel content = 0.67) over a wide range of lava compositions. Saturation magnetization and saturation remanence are highly correlated with FeO* (R = 0.73 and 0.83, respectively), indicating that more iron-rich lavas have higher abundances of otherwise similar titanomagnetite. We show that there is a good correlation between natural remanent magnetization (NRM) and FeO*, provided that sufficient specimens are used to determine the average NRM of a sample (R = 0.63). Because the range of iron contents in mid-ocean ridge basalts is limited, the best fit slope (4.44 A/m per %FeO* in an ambient field of 0.030 mT) should provide reasonable bounds on the equatorial magnetization of submarine lavas (similar to 10 A/m at 8.5% FeO* and similar to 50 A/m at similar to 16% FeO*). Finally, we demonstrate that along-axis variations in NRM closely parallel geochemical changes along the southern EPR. Where magnetization values deviate significantly from those predicted from the range of measured FeO* contents, these discrepancies may reflect additional unrecognized geochemical variability.

1994
Kent, DV, Gee J.  1994.  Grain Size-Dependent Alteration and the Magnetization of Oceanic Basalts. Science. 265:1561-1563.   10.1126/science.265.5178.1561   AbstractWebsite

Unblocking temperatures of natural remanent magnetization were found to extend well above the dominant Curie points in samples of oceanic basalts from the axis of the East Pacific Rise. This phenomenon is attributed to the natural presence in the basalts of three related magnetic phases: an abundant fine-grained and preferentially oxidized titanomagnetite that carries most of the natural remanent magnetism, a few coarser and less oxidized grains of titanomagnetite that account for most of the high-field magnetic properties, and a small contribution to both the natural remanent magnetism and high-field magnetic properties from magnetite that may be due to the disproportionation of the oxidized titanomagnetite under sea-floor conditions. This model is consistent with evidence from the Central Anomaly magnetic high that the original magnetization acquired by oceanic basalts upon cooling is rapidly altered and accounts for the lack of sensitivity of bulk rock magnetic parameters to the degree of alteration of the remanence carrier in oceanic basalts.

Gee, J, Kent DV.  1994.  Variations in Layer 2A Thickness and the Origin of the Central Anomaly Magnetic High. Geophysical Research Letters. 21:297-300.   10.1029/93gl03422   AbstractWebsite

The seismically determined off-axis thickening of the extrusive layer is apparently at odds with the magnetic anomaly high typically associated with the ridge crest. The positive magnetization contrast at the ridge crest is most likely caused by rapid alteration of the extrusive source layer which occurs over spatial scales (2-3 km) comparable to that of the proposed Layer 2A thickening. We present magnetic remanence data from basalts dredged on and near the East Pacific Rise axis at 12-degrees-N which are compatible with a rapid magnetization reduction (approximately 20 k.y. to decay to 1/e). Together with near bottom magnetic profiles from the ultra-fast-spreading East Pacific Rise at 19.5-degrees-S, these data suggest that previous estimates of the time constant of alteration inferred from slow-spreading ridges (0.5 m.y.) may be more than an order of magnitude too high.

1991
Klootwijk, CT, Gee J, Smith GM, Pierce JW.  1991.  Constraints on the India-Asia convergence; paleomagnetic results from Ninetyeast Ridge. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 121:777-884.   10.2973/odp.proc.sr.121.121.1991   Abstract

This study details the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary northward movement of the Indian plate. Breaks in India's northward movement rate are identified, dated, and correlated with the evolution of the India-Asia convergence. Paleolatitudinal constraints on the origin of Ninetyeast Ridge are discussed, and limited magnetostratigraphic detail is provided.Nearly 1500 sediment and basement samples from Sites 756, 757, and 758 on Ninetyeast Ridge were studied through detailed alternating field and thermal demagnetization. Primary and various secondary magnetization components were identified. Breakpoint intervalsintheprimarypaleolatitudepatternforcommon-Site758wereidentified at2.7,6.7,18.5,about53,63.5-67,and68-74.5 Ma. Only the breakpoint interval at about 53 Ma reliably reflects a reduction in India's northward movement rate. The onset of this probably gradual slowdown was dated at 55 Ma (minimal age) based on the intersection of weighted linear regression lines. At the locationofcommon-Site758,northwardmovementslowedfrom 18-19.5cm/yr(fromatleast65to55Ma)to4.5cm/yr(from55 to at least 20 Ma). Reanalysis of earlier DSDP/ODP paleolatitude data from the Indian plate gives a comparable date (53 Ma) for this reduction in northward velocity.Comparison of our Ninetyeast Ridge data and Himalayan paleomagnetic data indicates that the initial contact of Greater India and Asia mayhave already been established by Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary time. The geological record of the convergence zone and the Indian plate supports the notion that the Deccan Traps extrusion may have resulted from the ensuing deformation of the Indian plate. W e interpret the breakpoint at 55+ Ma to reflect completion of the eastward progressive India-Asia suturing process.Neogene phases in the evolution of the convergence zone were correlated with significant changes in the susceptibility, NRM intensity, and lithostratigraphic profile of Site 758.These changes are interpreted to reflect and postdate tectonic phases in the evolutionofthewiderHimalayanandsouthernTibetanregion.Thechangesweredatedandinterpretedasfollows: 17.5Ma,initial uplift of the Higher Himalaya following initiation of intercontinental underthrusting; 10-10.4 Ma, increased uplift and onset of Middle Siwaliks sedimentation; 8.8 Ma, probable reduction in influx corresponding with the Nagri Formation to Dhok Pathan Formation changeover; 6.5 Ma, major tectonic phase evident throughout the wider Himalayan region and northern Indian Ocean; 5.1-5.4 Ma, onset of oroclinal bending of the Himalayan Arc,of extensional tectonism in southern Tibet, and of Upper Siwalik sedimentation; 2.5-2.7 and 1.9 Ma, major phases of uplift of the Himalayan and Tibetan region culminating in the present-day high relief.The basal ash sequence and upper flow sequence of Site 758 and the basal ash sequence of Site 757 indicate paleolatitudes at about 50°S. These support a Kerguelen hot spot origin for Ninetyeast Ridge. Consistently aberrant inclinations in the basalt sequence ofSite757mayberelatedtoasouthwardridgejumpataboutthetime(58Ma)thatthesebasaltswereerupted.Thebasalt sequence of Site 756 indicates a lower paleolatitude (about 43°S), as do parts of the basalt sequence of Site 758 which also have reversed polarity overprints. The low paleolatitudes for Site 756 may be explained by late-stage volcanism north of the Kerguelen hot spot or the influence of the Amsterdam-St. Paul hot spot.

Smith, GM, Gee J, Klootwijk CT.  1991.  Magnetic petrology of basalts from Ninetyeast Ridge. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 121:525-545.   10.2973/odp.proc.sr.121.154.1991   Abstract

Given the importance of the inversion of seamount magnetic anomalies, particularly to the motion of the Pacific plate, it is important to gain a better understanding of the nature of the magnetic source of these features. Although different in detail, Ninetyeast Ridge is composed of submarine and subaerial igneous rocks that are similar to those found at many seamounts, making it a suitable proxy. We report here on the magnetic petrology of a collection of samples from Ninetyeast Ridge in the Indian Ocean. Our purpose is to determine the relationship between primary petrology, subsequent alteration, and magnetic properties of the recovered rocks. Such information will eventually lead to a more complete understanding of the magnetization of seamounts and presumably improvements in the accuracy of anomaly inversions. Three basement sites were drilled on Ninetyeast Ridge, with recovery of subaerial basalt flows at the first two (Sites 756 and 757) and submarine massive and pillow flows at the final one (Site 758). The three sites were distinctly different. Site 756 was dominated by ilmenite. What titanomagnetite was present had undergone deuteric alteration and secondary hematite was present in many samples. The magnetization was moderate and stable although it yielded a paleolatitude somewhat lower than expected. Site 757 was highly oxidized, presumably while above sea level. It was dominated by primary titanomagnetite, which was deuterically altered. Secondary hematite was common. Magnetization was relatively weak but quite stable. The paleolatitude for all but the lowermost flows was approximately 40° lower than expected. Site 758 was also dominated by primary titanomagnetite. There was relatively little oxidation with most primary titanomagnetite showing no evidence of high-temperature alteration. No secondary hematite was in evidence. This site had the highest magnetization of the three (although somewhat low relative to other seamounts) but was relatively unstable with significant viscous remanence in many samples. Paleolatitude was close to the expected value. It is not possible, at present, to confidently associate these rocks with specific locations in a seamount structure. A possible and highly speculative model would place rocks similar to Site 757 near the top of the edifice, Site 756 lower down but still erupted above sea level, and Site 758 underlying these units, erupted while the seamount was still below sea level.