Separation of Diamagnetic and Paramagnetic Fabrics Reveals Strain Directions in Carbonate Rocks

R. Issachar, T. Levi, S. Marco, R. Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We present a new procedure for separating magnetic fabrics in coccolith-bearing chalk samples, demonstrated in the case studies of three sites located within the Dead Sea Fault (DSF) plate boundary. The separation is achieved by combining measurements of room temperature and low-temperature anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (RT-AMS and LT-AMS, respectively) with anisotropy of anhysteretic remanence magnetization (AARM). The LT-AMS, measured at ~77 K, enhances the fabric of paramagnetic clay minerals. The AARM represents the fabric of ferromagnetic Fe oxides. By subtracting the paramagnetic and ferromagnetic fabrics from the RT-AMS, the diamagnetic fabric is separated. In the studied samples, we found that the ferromagnetic contribution to the bulk magnetic fabric is negligible and could be excluded from the subtraction procedure. Our analysis indicates that in chalks with a negligible ferromagnetic contribution, diamagnetic fabric predominates the rock bulk magnetic fabric, if the mean susceptibility is <−6 × 10−6 SI, whereas with a mean susceptibility >11 × 10−6 SI, paramagnetic fabric predominates. In the studied rocks, the paramagnetic clay minerals preserve the original depositional fabric, whereas the diamagnetic minerals show a tectonic fabric. We propose a mechanism by which coccolith rotation under tectonic strain contributes to the development of the diamagnetic fabric parallel to the shortening direction. We infer that the diamagnetic fabrics of the studied rocks indicate strain regime of approximately N-S horizontal shortening near strands of the DSF system. This suggests a deflection of the regional principal strain axes near the DSF. The diamagnetic fabric is more sensitive to tectonic strain than paramagnetic fabric in chalks and provides a valuable strain indicator near major faults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2035-2048
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS)
  • calcite
  • carbonate rocks
  • coccoliths
  • diamagnetic fabric
  • magnetic fabrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Separation of Diamagnetic and Paramagnetic Fabrics Reveals Strain Directions in Carbonate Rocks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this