Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism

2007 Edition
| Editors: David Gubbins, Emilio Herrero-Bervera

Magnetization, Isothermal Remanent

  • Mike Jackson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4423-6_192


As indicated by the name, isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) is a remanent magnetization (RM) acquired without the aid of changes in temperature. There are actually many processes that can produce RMs isothermally (see, e.g., CRM, VRM, DRM, and ARM), but by convention we restrict the use of the term IRM to denote a remanence resulting from the application and subsequent removal of an applied DC field. IRMs are thus intimately related to hysteresis. Conventional nomenclature uses MR for the IRM determined by measurement of a hysteresis loop (and MRS if the cycle reaches saturation), whereas IRM and SIRM are typically used for remanence measurements made with a zero‐field magnetometer after magnetization on a separate instrument (electromagnet, pulse magnetizer, etc.).

Weak fields, such as the geomagnetic field, are generally very ineffective in producing IRMs, and therefore IRMs are rarely significant components of NRM. (A notable exception is found in rocks struck by...

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  • Mike Jackson

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