Preservation and detectability of shock-induced magnetization

Sonia M. Tikoo, Jérôme Gattacceca, Nicholas L. Swanson-Hysell, Benjamin P. Weiss, Clément Suavet, Cécile Cournède

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


An understanding of the effects of hypervelocity impacts on the magnetization of natural samples is required for interpreting paleomagnetic records of meteorites, lunar rocks, and cratered planetary surfaces. Rocks containing ferromagnetic minerals have been shown to acquire shock remanent magnetization (SRM) due to the passage of a shock wave in the presence of an ambient magnetic field. In this study, we conducted pressure remanent magnetization (PRM) acquisition experiments on a variety of natural samples as an analog for SRM acquisition at pressures ranging up to 1.8GPa. Comparison of the alternating field (AF) and thermal demagnetization behavior of PRM confirms that AF demagnetization is a more efficient method for removing SRM overprints than thermal demagnetization because SRM may persist to unblocking temperatures approaching the Curie temperatures of magnetic minerals. The blocking of SRM to high temperatures suggests that SRM could persist without being eradicated by viscous relaxation over geologic timescales. However, SRM has been rarely observed in natural samples likely because of two factors: (1) other forms of impact-related remanence (e.g., thermal remanent magnetization from impact-related heating or chemical remanent magnetization from postimpact hydrothermal activity) are often acquired by target rocks that overprint SRM, and (2) low SRM acquisition efficiencies may prevent SRM from being distinguished from the underlying primary remanence or other overprints due to its low magnetization intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1461-1475
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • extraterrestrial magnetism
  • impact cratering
  • shock
  • shock remanent magnetization


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