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Oriented Magnetite Inclusions in Plagioclase: Implications for the Anisotropy of Magnetic Remanence
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  • Olga Ageeva,
  • Gerlinde Habler,
  • Stuart A. Gilder,
  • Roman Schuster,
  • Alexey Pertsev,
  • Olga Pilipenko,
  • Ge Bian,
  • Rainer Abart
Olga Ageeva
University of Vienna, Department of Lithospheric Research

Corresponding Author:olga.ageeva@univie.ac.at

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Gerlinde Habler
University of Vienna
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Stuart A. Gilder
Ludwig Maximilians University
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Roman Schuster
Institute of Materials Science and Technology, TU Wien
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Alexey Pertsev
Institute of Geology, Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences
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Olga Pilipenko
Institute of Earth Physics
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Ge Bian
University of Vienna
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Rainer Abart
University of Vienna
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Abstract

Micron to sub-micron sized ferromagnetic inclusions in rock forming silicate minerals may give rise to particularly stable remanent magnetizations. When a population of inclusions have a preferred crystallographic or shape orientation in a rock, the recorded paleomagnetic direction and intensity may be biased by magnetic anisotropy. To better understand this effect, we investigated plagioclase grains from oceanic gabbro dredged from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 11-17N. The plagioclase grains contain abundant needle and lath shaped magnetite inclusions aligned along specific directions of the plagioclase lattice. Electron back scatter diffraction and anisotropy of magnetic remanence measurements are used to correlate the orientation distribution of the magnetite inclusions in the host plagioclase that contains multiple twin types (Manebach, Carlsbad, Albite and Pericline) with the bulk magnetic anisotropy of the inclusion-host assembly. In unaltered plagioclase, the anisotropy ellipsoid of magnetic remanence has oblate shapes that parallels the plagioclase (010) plane. It is suggested that recrystallization of magnetite inclusions from hydrothermal alteration shifts the relative abundance of the inclusions pertaining to the different orientation classes. We show that the maximum axis of the anisotropy ellipsoid of magnetic remanence parallels the plagioclase [001] direction, which in turn controls the recorded remanent magnetization direction. Our results are relevant for paleointensity and paleodirection determinations and for the interpretation of magnetic fabrics.