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Keywords:

  • titanomagnetite;
  • alterations;
  • local heating;
  • MFM;
  • confocal Raman

Abstract

Titanomagnetites are important carriers of magnetic remanence in nature and can track redox conditions in magma. The titanium concentration in magnetite bears heavily on its magnetic properties, such as saturation moment and Curie temperature. On land and in the deep ocean, however, these minerals are prone to alteration which can mask the primary magnetic signals they once recorded. Thus, it is essential to characterize the cation composition and oxidation state of titanomagnetites that record the paleomagnetic field. Raman spectroscopy provides a unique tool for both purposes. Nonetheless, the heat generated by the excitation laser can itself induce oxidation. We show that the laser power threshold to produce oxidation decreases with increasing titanium content. With confocal Raman spectroscopy and magnetic force microscopy (MFM) on natural and synthetic titanomagnetites, a non-destructive Raman imaging protocol was established. We applied this protocol to map out the composition and magnetization state within a single ex-solved titanomagnetite grain in a deep-sea basalt. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.