Inverse Magnetic Susceptibility Fabrics in Pelagic Sediment: Implications for Magnetofossil Abundance and Alignment

Yoichi Usui, Toshitsugu Yamazaki, Toshitaka Oka, Yuho Kumagai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Single-domain magnetite particles exhibit minimum susceptibility along their elongation, resulting in so-called inverse fabric of the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS). We report the discovery of inverse AMS fabrics from pelagic clay recovered by a ∼12 m long piston core from the western North Pacific. A previous study identified fossil single-domain magnetite produced by magnetotactic bacteria (magnetofossils) as the dominant ferrimagnetic mineral in the sediment. The inverse AMS fabrics were found in a ∼2 m zone. The ∼6 and ∼4 m of sediment above and below this zone showed normal, horizontal AMS fabrics. Rock magnetic data and ferromagnetic resonance spectroscopy indicated that magnetofossils account for most of the mean susceptibility regardless of normal or inverse AMS. This was explained by the mixing models where the inverse fabric from magnetofossils is nearly balanced by the normal fabrics of terrigenous minerals. The corrected degree of AMS carried by magnetofossils in the sediment was estimated to be ∼1.01, which is comparable to that of typical pelagic sediment at shallow depth. On the other hand, terrigenous minerals in the sediment were estimated to have higher degree of anisotropy, possibly reflecting burial and subsequent erosion of >80 m of sediment, which was also suggested by a subbottom acoustic stratigraphy. This suggests that inverse AMS fabrics due to magnetofossils may be widespread in pelagic clay without strong compaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10672-10686
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 1


  • deoformation
  • environmental magnetism
  • magnetotactic bacteria
  • paleomagnetism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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