Journal Article

Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility in alkali feldspar and plagioclase

Andrea R. Biedermann, Thomas Pettke, Ross J. Angel and Ann M. Hirt

in Geophysical Journal International

Volume 205, issue 1, pages 479-489
ISSN: 0956-540X
Published online January 2016 | e-ISSN: 1365-246X | DOI:
Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility in alkali feldspar and plagioclase

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  • Geology and the Lithosphere


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Feldspars are the most abundant rock-forming minerals in the Earth's crust, but their magnetic properties have not been rigorously studied. This work focuses on the intrinsic magnetic anisotropy of 31 feldspar samples with various chemical compositions. Because feldspar is often twinned or shows exsolution textures, measurements were performed on twinned and exsolved samples as well as single crystals. The anisotropy is controlled by the diamagnetic susceptibility and displays a consistent orientation of principal susceptibility axes; the most negative or minimum susceptibility is parallel to [010], and the maximum (least negative) is close to the crystallographic [001] axis. However, the magnetic anisotropy is weak when compared to other rock-forming minerals, 1.53 × 10−9 m3 kg−1 at maximum. Therefore, lower abundance minerals, such as augite, hornblende or biotite, often dominate the bulk paramagnetic anisotropy of a rock. Ferromagnetic anisotropy is not significant in most samples. In the few samples that do show ferromagnetic anisotropy, the principal susceptibility directions of the ferromagnetic subfabric do not display a systematic orientation with respect to the feldspar lattice. These results suggest that palaeointensity estimates of the geomagnetic field made on single crystals of feldspar will not be affected by a systematic orientation of the ferromagnetic inclusions within the feldspar lattice.

Keywords: Magnetic and electrical properties; Magnetic fabrics and anisotropy; Palaeointensity; Rock and mineral magnetism

Journal Article.  7025 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geology and the Lithosphere

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