Document Type




Publication Date



The upper soil horizons of many modern and ancient soils are enriched in fine-grained pedogenic ferrimagnetic minerals. We use three grain-size- and concentration-dependent proxies (anhysteretic remanent magnetization/isothermal remanent magnetization ratios, coercivity spectra derived from alternating field demagnetization of saturation isothermal remanent magnetization and hysteresis properties) to quantify the abundance and grain size of the pedogenic magnetic component. Our analyses of modern loessic soils from the midwestern United States show that relatively small additions (2–10 vol % of the total ferrimagnetic component) of fine-grained (coarse superparamagnetic to fine pseudosingle domain) magnetite or maghemite are sufficient to explain the changes in concentration and grain-size-dependent properties observed in the upper soil horizons. Furthermore, the pedogenic components of all studied sites display a narrow range of magnetic properties, which argues for a common origin of these particles over a wide range of climatic conditions.


Originally published as Geiss, C. E., and C. W. Zanner (2006), How abundant is pedogenic magnetite? Abundance and grain size estimates forloessic soils based on rock magnetic analyses, J. Geophys. Res., 111, B12S21, doi:10.1029/2006JB004564.

Provided by the Trinity College Digital Repository in accordance with the publisher's archiving policies.