A rock magnetic study was performed on sediment cores from four sites in the South Atlantic off the western coast of Africa, which were taken during the Ocean Drilling Program Leg 175 (Sites 1078, 1082, 1084, aned 1085). The sites are within the Angola-Namibia upwelling system, and the sediments have a high total-organic-carbon content. Concentration of ferrimagnetic minerals at these sites is very low, and the magnetic susceptibility is dominated by paramagnetic and diamagnetic minerals. Severe and rapid loss of remanent magnetization occurred during storage of the cores, with less than 10% of the initial intensity remaining a few months after core recovery. The loss of magnetization may prevail in organic-rich sediments. Changes of magnetic properties with time were examined using samples that were kept frozen before the experiment. Hysteresis parameters and the ratio of ARM (anhysteretic remanent magnetization) to SIRM (saturation isothermal remanent magnetization) indicate increases in the average magnetic grain size with the decay of magnetization, which suggests preferential dissolution of finer magnetic minerals. Loss of low-coercivity magnetic minerals with time was estimated from the decrease of S ratios. Low-temperature magnetometry revealed the presence of magnetite in the sediments even after the completion of sulfate reduction. Magnetization attributable to magnetite decreased with the loss of magnetization. This suggests the transformation of magnetite into non-magnetic phases, which is consistent with the decrease of S ratios.
Reprinted with permission from Terra Scientific Publishing Company.