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Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research Year : 1993

Magnetization of the La Palma Seamount Series: Implications for Seamount Paleopoles

Lisa Tauxe
  • Function : Author
Thomas Pick
  • Function : Author


Paleopoles determined from seamount magnetic anomalies constitute the major data source for the Pacific apparent polar wander path, but relatively little is known about the processes of remanence acquisition in seamounts. Since magnetic anomalies reflect both natural remanence (NRM) and the induced field, it is important first to assess whether the NRM is likely to represent an original field direction and second to constrain the magnitude of the induced component. To this end, we present paleomagnetic data from an uplifted, subaerially exposed section through a seamount on La Palma, Canary Islands. The Pliocene Seamount Series of La Palma comprises a >6 km sequence of alkalic extrusives and intrusives which includes all lithologies likely to be volumetrically important in seamounts. The structural tilt of the Seamount Series allows separation of early thermal or chemical remanence from magnetization components acquired after tilting (e.g., viscous remanence). The NRM provides a poor indication of the original magnetization direction, although the characteristic magnetization of many La Palma samples is compatible with the original pretilt direction. Hydrothermal alteration has resulted in the production of Ti-poor magnetite and an increasing contribution of hematite with increasing degree of alteration. More importantly, well-defined magnetization directions which deviate from any reasonable geomagnetic direction at La Palma can be attributed to hydrothermal alteration in a different polarity than prevalent during the original magnetization. Based on a comparison of the magnitude of low-stability components of magnetization and laboratory acquisition of viscous remanence and previous estimates of the induced magnetization, we conclude that viscous and induced magnetization probably account for 15-25% of the total magnetization of seamounts. The resulting paleopole bias is a function of the polarity and paleolatitude of the seamount and ranges from 4ø to 16 ø for Cretaceous seamounts in the Pacific.
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insu-01864349 , version 1 (29-08-2018)



Jeff Gee, Hubert Staudigel, Lisa Tauxe, Thomas Pick. Magnetization of the La Palma Seamount Series: Implications for Seamount Paleopoles. Journal of Geophysical Research, 1993, 98767, pp.11743-11754. ⟨10.1029/93JB00932⟩. ⟨insu-01864349⟩


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