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Challenges in isolating primary remanent magnetization from Tethyan carbonate rocks on the Tibetan Plateau: Insight from remagnetized Upper Triassic limestones in the eastern Qiangtang block

Abstract : Carbonate rocks, widely used for paleomagnetically quantifying the drift history of the Gondwana-derived continental blocks of the Tibetan Plateau and evolution of the Paleo/Meso/Neo-Tethys Oceans, are prone to pervasive remagnetization. Identifying remagnetization is difficult because it is commonly undetectable through the classic paleomagnetic field tests. Here we apply comprehensive paleomagnetic, rock magnetic, and petrographic studies to upper Triassic limestones in the eastern Qiangtang block. Our results reveal that detrital/biogenic magnetite, which may carry the primary natural remanent magnetization (NRM), is rarely preserved in these rocks. In contrast, authigenic magnetite and hematite pseudomorphs after pyrite, and monoclinic pyrrhotite record three episodes of remagnetization. The earliest remagnetization was induced by oxidation of early diagenetic pyrite to magnetite, probably related to the collision between the northeastern Tibetan Plateau and the Qiangtang block after closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean in the Late Triassic. The second remagnetization, residing in hematite and minor goethite, which is the further subsurface oxidation product of pyrite/magnetite, is possibly related to the development of the localized Cenozoic basins soon after India-Asia collision in the Paleocene. The youngest remagnetization is a combination of thermoviscous and chemical remanent magnetization carried by authigenic magnetite and pyrrhotite, respectively. Our analyses suggest that a high supply of organic carbon during carbonate deposition, prevailing sulfate reducing conditions during early diagenesis, and widespread orogenic fluid migration related to crustal shortening during later diagenesis, have altered the primary remanence of the shallow-water Tethyan carbonate rocks of the Tibetan Plateau. We emphasize that all paleomagnetic results from these rocks must be carefully examined for remagnetization before being used for paleogeographic reconstructions. Future paleomagnetic investigations of the carbonate rocks in orogenic belts should be accompanied by thorough rock magnetic and petrographic studies to determine the origin of the NRM.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-02270563
Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Monday, August 26, 2019 - 8:28:21 AM
Last modification on : Monday, August 10, 2020 - 3:40:08 PM

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Wentao Huang, Michael Jackson, Mark Dekkers, Yang Zhang, Bo Zhang, et al.. Challenges in isolating primary remanent magnetization from Tethyan carbonate rocks on the Tibetan Plateau: Insight from remagnetized Upper Triassic limestones in the eastern Qiangtang block. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2019, 523, pp.115695. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2019.06.035⟩. ⟨insu-02270563⟩

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