Isothermal remanent magnetization of Greenland ice: Preliminary results

Lanci, Luca; Kent, Dennis V.; Biscaye, Pierre E.; Bory, Aloys Jean-Mathias

The magnetic mineral content of wind“transported dust should reflect atmospheric transport dynamics and conditions in its source areas, and could thus be used as an environmental proxy. To test the feasibility of determining the magnetic mineral content in polar ice, isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) was measured on a small suite of Greenland ice samples of Holocene (interglacial) and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) age. Although the extremely low dust concentrations limit weak field (susceptibility) measurements, all samples contained an easily measurable concentration of magnetic minerals that can be estimated using IRM intensity provided that special precautions are used. IRM experiments at liquid nitrogen temperatures indicate ice magnetic properties which are consistent with that expected from varying concentrations of magnetite or maghemite. Interestingly, the Holocene ice samples tend to have higher magnetic concentrations, despite having much lower total polar dust contents, than the few LGM ice samples tested thus far.

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Geophysical Research Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Published Here
August 2, 2011