RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES VOL. 4, NO. 3, PAGES 201–223, doi:10.2205/2002ES000087, 2002

Petrographic features of oceanic peridotites as reflected by their magnetic characteristics

B. A. Bazylev
Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

K. V. Popov
Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

V. P. Shcherbakov
Borok Geophysical Observatory, Schmidt United Institute of Physics of the Earth, Borok, Russia


[1]  Petrographic and petromagnetic studies of a representative collection of peridotites from various localities on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge have been carried out. It is shown that secondary magnetization of peridotites comes into being usually prior to the onset of serpentinization, in the course of the preceding medium-temperature metamorphic recrystallization of the rocks. The formative conditions of magnetite in peridotites can be inferred from its integrated grain size, quantified from petromagnetic characteristics. Grain size of magnetite that is formed during serpentinization of oceanic peridotites averages 3-4  mm. Increased mean grain size of magnetite (20  mm or more) is suggestive of its having crystallized in the course of medium-temperature metamorphism of peridotites. Based on our own and published data, an increased mean grain size of the magnetic phase is characteristic of most oceanic peridotites, which provides a further proof of extensive development of medium-temperature metamorphic recrystallization of these rocks both within transform faults and on rift valley slopes. The obtained data afford the conclusion that the thickness of the magnetic layer of the MOR lithosphere ranges from 6 to 15 km, its lower limit being set by the 580o C isotherm, corresponding to the Curie point for magnetite.

Received 26 May 2002; published 15 June 2002.

Keywords: petrography, oceanic peridotites, magnetic characteristics, Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Citation: Bazylev, B. A., K. V. Popov, and V. P. Shcherbakov (2002), Petrographic features of oceanic peridotites as reflected by their magnetic characteristics, Russ. J. Earth Sci., 4, No.3, 201-223, doi:10.2205/2002ES000087.

Copyright 2002 by the Russian Journal of Earth Sciences

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