Earth, Planets and Space

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 9–14 | Cite as

Variable shape of magnetic hysteresis loops in the Chinese loess-paleosol sequence

Open Access


Shape of magnetic hysteresis loops of the Chinese loess-paleosol sequence is variable with low-field susceptibility and is weakly constricted in samples with intermediate susceptibility (~1.0 × 10−6 m3/kg). The analyses of the hysteresis loops show that both low- (ferrimagnetic) and high-coercivity (antiferromagnetic) components are present and the ferrimagnetic component dominate the magnetic characteristics. The ratio of ferrimagnetic over antiferromagnetic minerals (S ratio) and the superparamagnetic fraction increase with increasing susceptibility. Neither simple two-component mixtures of ferrimagnetic and antiferromagnetic minerals nor of single-domain and superparamagnetic grains fully explain the constricted hysteresis loops. We interpret the variation of the loop shape with susceptibility in the following way. When the ratio of the ferrimagnetic to antiferromagnetic contribution is relatively low (low susceptibility), the broad loop is controlled by lithogenic ferrimagnetic and antiferromagnetic minerals. For samples with intermediate susceptibility values, constricted shape originates from an addition of a broad loop from the lithogenic fraction and a narrow loop from a pedogenic fraction with high superparamagnetic content. Then with further susceptibility increase, the constricted shape almost disappears and the loop is dominated by the pedogenic fraction. The variation of hysteresis loop shape with susceptibility can be a useful indicator of the degree of pedogenesis for loess-paleosol samples.


Hysteresis Loop Magnetic Hysteresis Loop Isothermal Remanent Magnetization Chinese Loess Plateau Thermal Demagnetization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Banerjee, S., C. P. Hunt, and X.-M. Liu, Separation of local signals from the regional paleomonsoon record of the Chinese Loess Plateau: A rock magnetic approach, Geophys. Res. Lett., 20, 843–846, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker, J. J., Surface effects on hysteresis loop shapes in high-coercive-force crystallized amorphous alloys, IEEE Trans. Magn., MAG-18, 1451–1453, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bloemendal, J., B. Lamb, and J. W. King, Paleoenvironmental implica-tions of rock-magnetic properties of late Quaternary sediment cores from the eastern equatorial Atlantic, Paleocenography, 3, 61–87, 1988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borradaile, G. J., N. Chow, and T. Werner, Magnetic hysteresis of limestones: Facies control?, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 76, 241–252, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Day, R., M. Fuller, and V. A. Schmidt, Hysteresis properties of titanomagnetites: grain-size and compositional dependence, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 13, 260–267, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Evans, M. E. and F. Heller, Magnetic enhancement and palaeoclimate: Study of a loess/paleosol couplet across the Loess Plateau of China, Geophys. J. Int., 117, 257–264, 1994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eyre, J. K. and D. P. E. Dickson, Mössbauer spectroscopy analysis of iron-containing minerals in the Chinese loess, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 17925–17930, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eyre, J. K. and J. Shaw, Magnetic enhancement of Chinese loess-the role of of γFe2O3?,, Geophys. J. Int., 117, 265–271, 1994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fine, P., K. L. Verosub, and M. J. Singer, Pedogenic and lithogenic contributions to the magnetic susceptibility record of the Chinese loess/paleosol sequence, Geophys. J. Int., 122, 97–107, 1995.Google Scholar
  10. Flanders, P. J., An alternating gradient force magnetometer, J. Appl. Phys., 63, 3940–3945, 1988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Heller, F. and M. E. Evans, Loess magnetism, Rev. Geophys., 33, 211–240, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Heller, F. and T. Liu, Magnetism of Chinese loess deposits, Geophys. J. R. astr. Soc., 77, 125–141, 1984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heller, F. and T. Liu, Paleoclimatic and sedimentary history from mag-netic susceptibility of loess in China, Geophys. Res. Lett., 13, 1169–1172, 1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Heller, F., X. Liu, T. Liu, and T. Xu, Magnetic susceptibility of loess in China, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 103, 301–310, 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hunt, C. P., S. K. Banerjee, J. Han, P. A. Solheid, E. Oches, W. Sun, and T.-S. Liu, Rock-magnetic proxies of climate changes in the loess-palaeosol sequences of the western Loess Plateau of China, Geophys. J. Int., 123, 232–244, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jackson, M., Diagenetic sources of stable remanence in remagnetized carbonates: A rock magnetic study, J. Geophys. Res., 95, 2753–2761, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kukla, G., F. Heller, L. X. Ming, X. T. Chun, T. S. Liu, and Z. S. An, Pleistocene climates in China dated by magnetic susceptibility, Geology, 16, 811–814, 1988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu, X., J. Show, T. Liu, F. Heller, and B. Yuan, Magnetic mineralogy of Chinese loess and its significance, Geophys. J. Int., 108, 301–308, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lowrie, W., Identification of ferromagnetic minerals in a rock by coer-civity and unblocking temperature properties, Geophys. Res. Lett., 17, 159–162, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Maher, B. A. and R. Thompson, Mineral magnetic record of the Chinese loess and paleosols, Geology, 19, 3–6, 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Maher, B. A. and R. Thompson, Paleoclimatic significance of the mineral magnetic record of the Chinese loess and paleosols, Quat. Res., 37, 155–170, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Muttoni, G., “Wasp-waisted” hysteresis loops from a pyrrhotite and magnetite-bearing remagnetized Triassic limestone, Geophys. Res. Lett., 22, 3167–3170, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pick, T. and L. Tauxe, Characteristics of magnetite in submarine basaltic glass, Geophys. J. Int., 119, 116–128, 1994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Roberts, A. P., Y. Cui, and K. L. Verosub, Wasp-waisted hysteresis loops: Mineral magnetic characteristics and discrimination of components in mixed magnetic system, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 17909–17924, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rolph, T. C., J. Shaw, E. Derbyshire, and J. T. Wang, The magnetic mineralogy of a loess section near Lanzhou, China, in The Dynamics and Environmental Context of Aeolian Sedimentary Systems, edited by K. Pye, pp. 311–323, Geological Society, London, 1993.Google Scholar
  26. Sasajima, S. and Y. Y. Wang, The Recent Research on Loess in China, 242 pp., Kyoto Univ. and Northwest Univ., 1984.Google Scholar
  27. Sun, W., S. K. Banerjee, and C. P. Hunt, The role of maghemite in the enhancement of magnetic signal in the Chinese loess-paleosol se-quence: An extensive rock magnetic study combined with citrate-bicarbonate-dithionite treatment, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 133, 493–505, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tauxe, L., T. A. T. Mullender, and T. Pick, Potbellies, wasp-waists, and superparamagnetism in magnetic hysteresis, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 571–584, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Torii, M., L. Y. Yue, A. Hayashida, K. Maenaka, T. Yokoyama, Y. Y. Wang, and S. Sasajima, Natural remanent magnetization of loess/paleosol deposits in Luochuan area, in The Recent Research on Loess in China, edited by S. Sasajima and Y. Y. Wang, pp. 32–41, Kyoto Univ. and Northwest Univ., 1984.Google Scholar
  30. Vandenberghe, R. E., E. de Grave, J. J. Hus, and J. Han, Characterization of Chinese loess and associated palaeosol by Mössbauer spectroscopy, Hyp. Interac., 70, 977–980, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Verosub, K. L., P. Fine, M. J. Singer, and J. TenPas, Pedogenesis and paleoclimate: Interpretation of the magnetic susceptibility record of Chinese loess-paleosol sequences, Geology, 21, 1011–1014, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wasilewski, P. J., Magnetic hysteresis in natural materials, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 20, 67–72, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhou, L. P., F. Oldfield, A. G. Wintle, S. G. Robinson, and J. T. Wang, Partly pedogenic origin of magnetic variations in Chinese loess, Nature, 346, 737–739, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences (SGEPSS); The Seismological Society of Japan; The Volcanological Society of Japan; The Geodetic Society of Japan; The Japanese Society for Planetary Sciences. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Earth and Planetary SciencesGraduate School of Science, Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations