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Competition of magnetic and hydrodynamic forces on ellipsoidal particles under shear: Influence of the Earth's magnetic field on particle alignment in viscous media

Abstract : [1] We present a model that describes the rotation of ellipsoidal magnetic particles in a viscous fluid under the influence of hydrodynamic and magnetic forces, with an aim to better understand how sediments acquire their remanent magnetizations. Analyses of the governing equations elucidate how magnetic particles will rotate for different values of leading parameters including particle shape, remanent and induced magnetic intensity, magnetic field intensity and direction, strain rate, shear direction, and viscosity. Numerical solution of the governing equations makes it possible to visualize the rotation path and the magnetic direction of a particle through time. Thus the model can discern the timescales and trajectories of magnetic particles rotating due to torque of the magnetic field couple while simultaneously entrained in a velocity gradient. For example, in a layer of viscosity 10 4 Pa s, prolate magnetite starting at any initial orientation and subjected to simple shear with a strain rate of 3.17 Â 10 À8 s À1 needs 4 months to rotate within 3° of the Earth's field direction. Under the same conditions, hydrodynamic forces will govern the orientation of oblate hematite whose moment will be perpetually randomly oriented with respect to the magnetic field direction. When applied to laboratory experiments, the viscous model successfully matches the observed data, particularly after accounting for mechanical interaction and flocculation effects. Magnetic anisotropies calculated from multiparticle systems of hematite yield typical sedimentary fabrics with relatively low percentages of anisotropy (<5%) and maximum principal axes that lie in the sedimentation plane. Citation: Jezek, J., and S. A. Gilder (2006), Competition of magnetic and hydrodynamic forces on ellipsoidal particles under shear: Influence of the Earth's magnetic field on particle alignment in viscous media,
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Josef Jezek, Stuart A. Gilder. Competition of magnetic and hydrodynamic forces on ellipsoidal particles under shear: Influence of the Earth's magnetic field on particle alignment in viscous media. Journal of Geophysical Research, American Geophysical Union, 2006, 111 (B12), pp.B12S23. ⟨10.1029/2006JB004541⟩. ⟨insu-01285586⟩

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