• Estimate of the magnetic field of Mars based on the magnetic characteristics of the Yamato 000593 nakhlite

      Funaki, M.; Hoffmann, V.; Imae, N. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
      Yamato 000593, a nakhlite, was analyzed in terms of its magnetic record and magnetomineralogy. The natural remanent magnetization (NRM: 3.55-6.07 x 10^(-5) Am^2/kg) was thermally demagnetized at ~320 degrees degrees C, and it was unstable against alternating field demagnetization. Based on analyses of thermomagnetic curves, the temperature dependence of hysteresis parameters, and microscopic observations, the magnetic minerals mainly consist of magnetite (0.68 wt% of the sample, including ~5% Fe2TiO4) of less than 100 m in size, associated with minor amounts of monoclinic pyrrhotite (<0.069 wt% of the sample) and goethite. Thermal demagnetization of NRM at ~330 degrees C is explained due to an offset of magnetization of antipodal NRM components of magnetite, whereas it is not due to a pyrrhotite Curie point. Large magnetite grains show exsolution texture with ilmenite laths, and are cut by silicate (including goethite) veins that formed along cracks. Numerous single-domain (SD) and pseudo-single-domain (PSD) magnetite grains are scattered in the mesostasis and adjacent olivine grains. Moderate coercive forces of HC = 6.8 mT and HRC = 31.1 mT suggest that Yamato 000593 is fundamentally able to carry a stable NRM; however, NRM was found to be unstable. Accordingly, the meteorite was possibly crystallized at 1.3 Ga under an extremely weak or absent magnetic field, or was demagnetized by impact shock at 12 Ma (ejection age) on Mars. This finding differs from the results of previous paleomagnetic studies of SNC (shergottites, nakhlites, chassignites, and orthopyroxenite) Martian meteorites. The significant dipole magnetic field resulting from the molten metallic core was probably absent during the Amazonian Epoch (after 1.8 Ga) on Mars.