The moon and the planets

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 251–263 | Cite as

The magnetic effects of brecciation and shock in meteorites: II. The ureilites and evidence for strong nebular magnetic fields

  • Aviva Brecher
  • Miriam Fuhrman


We have examined the magnetic characteristics of representative ureilites, with a view to identify the magnetic effects of shock and to isolate a primary component of the natural remanent magnetization (NRM). As a group, the ureilites show remarkably uniform patterns of magnetic behavior, attesting to a common genesis and history. However, a clearly observed gradation in magnetic properties of the ureilites studied with shock level, parallels their classification based on petrologic and chemical fractionation shock-related trends.

The ureilite meteorites possess a strong and directionally stable NRM. Laboratory thermal modelling of this presumably primordial NRM preserved in Goalpara and Kenna produced reliable paleointensity estimates of order 1 Oe, thus providing evidence for strong early, nebular magnetic fields. This paleofield strength is compatible with values obtained previously from carbonaceous chondrites and supports isotopic evidence for a contemporary origin of these two groups of meteorites in the same nebular region. The mechanism for recording nebular fields, manifestly different in carbonaceous chondrite vs. ureilite meteorites, is thus relatively unimportant: violent collisional shock in ureilites seems to have only partially altered an original magnetization, by preferential removal of its least stable portion.


Remanent Magnetization Thermal Modelling Magnetic Behavior Magnetic Characteristic Magnetic Effect 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aviva Brecher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Miriam Fuhrman
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of PhysicsWellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of Earth and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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