The use of palaeomagnetism and rock magnetism to understand volcanic processes: Introduction

M. H. Ort, M. Porreca, J. W. Geissman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This Special Publication provides a snapshot of our understanding of volcanic processes through the use of palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic techniques. Here, we provide a context for the book, placing individual chapters within the milieu of previous work, including some magnetic techniques that were not used in the particular studies described herein. Thermoremanent magnetization is a powerful tool to understand processes related to heating and cooling of rocks, including estimating the temperature of emplacement of pyroclastic deposits, which may allow us to better understand the rates of cooling during eruption and transport. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility and anisotropy of remanence are used primarily to investigate rock fabrics, and allow the interpretation of flow dynamics in dykes, lava flows and pyroclastic deposits, as well as the location of the eruptive vents. Rock magnetic characteristics can help in the correlation of volcanic deposits but also provide means to date volcanic deposits and to better understand the processes of cooling of the deposits, as the magnetic minerals can change with temperature. In addition, volcanic rocks may be key recorders of past magnetic fields, allowing a better understanding of changes in field intensity and, perhaps, providing clues of how the magnetic field is formed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Geology


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