Low-temperature magnetic properties of greigite (Fe3S4)



[1] We provide comprehensive low-temperature magnetic results for greigite (Fe3S4) across the spectrum from superparamagnetic (SP) to multidomain (MD) behavior. It is well known that greigite has no low-temperature magnetic transitions, but we also document that it has strong domain-state dependence of magnetic properties at low temperatures. Blocking of SP grains and increasing thermal stability with decreasing temperature is apparent in many magnetic measurements. Thermally stable single-domain greigite undergoes little change in magnetic properties below room temperature. For pseudo-single-domain (PSD)/MD greigite, hysteresis properties and first-order reversal curve diagrams exhibit minor changes at low temperatures, while remanence continuously demagnetizes because of progressive domain wall unpinning. The low-temperature demagnetization is grain size dependent for PSD/MD greigite, with coarser grains undergoing larger remanence loss. AC susceptibility measurements indicate consistent blocking temperatures (TB) for all synthetic and natural greigite samples, which are probably associated with surficial oxidation. Low-temperature magnetic analysis provides much more information about magnetic mineralogy and domain state than room temperature measurements and enables discrimination of individual components within mixed magnetic mineral assemblages. Low-temperature rock magnetometry is therefore a useful tool for studying magnetic mineralogy and granulometry of greigite-bearing sediments.