The presence of marine magnetic anomalies related to seafloor spreading is often considered a key evidence to locate the continent-ocean boundary (COB) at passive margins. Conversely, thermal demagnetization is also advocated to explain the poor shape of such oceanic anomalies under thick sedimentary cover. To investigate the effects of post-accretion sedimentation on marine magnetic anomalies, we focus our study on two conjugate regions of the southern South Atlantic Ocean (Anomalies M4 to M0) that, although formed at the same time and along the same spreading segments, reveal contrasting characters. The anomalies exhibit strong amplitudes (>400 nT) and a well-marked shape off South Africa, where the sediments are less than 3 km-thick, but become weaker ( approximately 200 nT) and much smoother off northern Argentina, where the sedimentary cover is thicker than 5 km. We interpret this observation as reflecting thermal demagnetization of the extrusive layer and its low Curie temperature titanomagnetite. We perform a series of thermo-magnetic models (Dyment and Arkani-Hamed, Geophys. J. Int., 1995, modified to include the sedimentary cover) to simulate the acquisition and loss of remanent magnetization in the oceanic lithosphere. We assume that most of the sediments accumulated shortly after crustal accretion. We investigate a range of possible thermal demagnetization temperatures for the extrusive layer and find that 200 degrees C to 280 degrees C best explains the observations, in reasonable agreement with Curie temperatures of titanomagnetite, suggesting that most of the extrusive layer may be demagnetized under sediments thicker than approximately 5 km. Thermal demagnetization should therefore be considered while interpreting marine magnetic anomalies for the age and nature of the crust (i.e., continental versus oceanic) in regions with thick sedimentary cover.
|Original language||English GB|
|Pages (from-to)||@Abstract GP31D-03|
|Journal||Geophysical Research Abstracts|
|State||Published - 2016|
- Solid-earth geophysics; 18