Fundamental rock and mineral magnetism

Understanding the complex magnetic records in natural materials requires knowledge of the fundamental magnetic properties of their minerals. We investigate the common terrestrial magnetic minerals, including iron sulphides, iron oxides, iron-titanium oxides, that have origins from either chemical precipitation, biological synthesis or environmental weathering. Studies range from atomic-scale magnetic mineral structures to macro-scale fundamental rock magnetic properties.

Paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate reconstructions

Magnetic proxies are widely used in paleoenvironmental reconstructions. However, traditional environmental magnetic approaches rely heavily on simple magnetic parameters and their ratios. We take a different approach: we determine magnetic property variations from direct observation of magnetic minerals, and combine these with advanced rock magnetism, mathematical unmixing, and magnetic modelling. This helps to get more robust magnetic proxies for tracing environmental processes.

Sediment remanence acquisition

Investigating DRM/PDRM/CRM processes to understand how marine sediments get magnetized. We use a combined experimental and numerical approach: we do laboratory redeposition experiments under controlled conditions, and also build numerical models in order to get a better picture of the magnetic recording processes in marine sediments.

Micromagnetic modelling

We use a full finite-element micromagnetic model (MERRILL) to simulate the magnetic properties of complex magnetic mineral ensembles, such as biogenic magnetite/magnetotactic bacteria and magnetic mineral inclusions in silicates, that are widely present in many natural environments. We seek to link the simulation with experimental data to detect subtle changes reflected in magnetic proxies throughout sedimentary records.

Viscous remanent magnetization dating of floods

This is a new technique where we collect samples from large tsunami boulders (recently from Cape Verde) that were quarried and rotated during the tsunami. Afterwards they slowly acquire a viscous remagnetization whose intensity/blocking temperature increases over time. By measuring this viscous remagnetization, we can calculate the age of the tsunami.

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