• burial;
  • chemical remanent magnetization;
  • magnetite

[1] Geological processes, such as burial, can lead to remagnetization in rocks due to neoformed magnetic minerals that have passed a critical volume, called blocking volume. In this study, we designed a heating experiment for claystones obtained from the Paris Basin (France), in the 50–130°C temperature range, in order to simulate <4 km burial remagnetization. At a given temperature, remanence increased rapidly within a couple of days and stabilized afterward. There was a positive relation between the experimental temperature and the obtained remanence. Remanence was determined to be carried equally by stable chemical remanent magnetization and unstable thermo-viscous remanent magnetization. By assuming that magnetite formed during the experiment, we interpreted the increase of chemical remanent magnetization and the increase of thermo-viscous remanent magnetization as the continuous growth of the >20 nm and ∼20 nm minerals respectively. This result led us to propose a conceptual model of nucleation-and-growth process of magnetite during low grade burial from ∼2 to ∼4 km depth. Ultrafine magnetite (≤20 nm) was predominant over single domain magnetite (>20 nm) for <4 km depth. Transposed to natural conditions, our heating steps experiment suggested that claystone-type rocks are remagnetized during burial. For temperatures higher than 200°C, the extrapolation of our results indicated that burial remagnetization, due to the chemical remanent magnetization, might be larger than the natural remanent magnetization.