On the mechanism of formation of depositional remanent magnetization



[1] Coagulation of particles into aggregates during their settling in an aqueous solution is numerically simulated with regard to Brownian motion, Van der Waals and Stokes's forces, gravitation, and magnetostatic interactions. Clusters obtained have a fractal structure with the average fractal dimension d = 1.83. Magnetic grains do not group until their concentration exceeds at least a few percent. The deposition process obeys a scaling principle: the sizes of clusters arriving at the bottom of a basin do not change if the product of the basin depth H and the concentration of initial material c0 is constant. Attempts at numerical simulations of laboratory redeposition experiments are made. Good agreement between numerical simulations and experimental results by van Vreumingen (1993) demonstrates that the modeling algorithm is based on reasonable physical assumptions. The magnetization of a flocculating suspension is defined by at least seven parameters, which characterize magnetic and nonmagnetic particles, as well as the aqueous medium. This multiparametric dependence hinders estimations of paleofield intensity by the redeposition method because it is practically impossible to reproduce natural conditions in the laboratory. Flocculation influences the magnetization intensity of the settling suspension at concentrations c0 typical for redeposition experiments or natural sedimentation in lakes and shallow seas. Flocculation is of minor importance for deep oceanic regions because of their extremely low sedimentation rate. However, factors like small-scale turbulence and biotic processes are not taken into account by the model and may require modification of these conclusions. Also, a simple model of pDRM acquisition based on elastic and plastic properties of sediment slurry is proposed.