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Magnetic susceptibility and its relationship with paleoenvironments, diagenesis and remagnetization: examples from the Devonian carbonates of Belgium

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Abstract

To better understand the origin of the initial magnetic susceptibility (χin) signal in carbonate sequences, a rock magnetic investigation that includes analysis of acquisition curves of the isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) and hysteresis parameters, was undertaken on Devonian carbonates from the Villers and Tailfer sections, Belgium. Both sections are divided into a lower unit, dominated by biostromal and external ramp facies (biostromal unit) and an upper unit, only consisting of lagoonal facies (lagoonal unit). The variations in χin signal are mainly driven by magnetite variation, mostly pseudo-single-domain (PSD) magnetite. Clay minerals, pyrite, hematite and obviously calcite and dolomite are also present but their contribution to the χin pattern is not significant. There is a correlation between detrital proxies (Zr, Rb, Al2O3, TiO2) and χin for the Tailfer biostromal unit and the entire Villers section. The pervasive presence of fine-grained magnetite is interpreted as related to remagnetization. In absence of external fluids, the iron released during the smectite to illite transition remains in situ. In those situations χin may reflect an inherited primary synsedimentary signal. In the lagoonal unit of the Tailfer section, remagnetization appears to have obscured the original detrital information prompting the need for an evaluation of the composition of the susceptibility signal for individual case studies.

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Correspondence to Anne-Christine Da Silva.

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Da Silva, A., Dekkers, M.J., Mabille, C. et al. Magnetic susceptibility and its relationship with paleoenvironments, diagenesis and remagnetization: examples from the Devonian carbonates of Belgium. Stud Geophys Geod 56, 677–704 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11200-011-9005-9

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Keywords

  • magnetic susceptibility
  • Devonian
  • carbonate
  • hysteresis loop
  • isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) acquisition curves
  • detrital
  • diagenesis