TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 61 (No. 1), pp. 101-110, 2009

Controlled atmosphere vibrating thermo-magnetometer (CatVTM): a new device to optimize the absolute paleointensity determinations

Thierry Poidras, Pierre Camps, and Patrick Nicol

Géoscience Montpellier, CNRS and University Montpellier 2, Montpellier, France

(Received December 24, 2007; Revised May 6, 2008; Accepted May 9, 2008; Online published January 23, 2009)

Abstract: The laboratory of paleomagnetism of Montpellier (France) has developed a new one-axis vibrating thermal magnetometer dedicated to the study of physical properties of natural rocks remanence. Among its key characteristics, this apparatus allows both measurement of the magnetization moment on the interval from room temperature to 700°C with a precision of 2×10-9 A m2 and acquisition of a total or a partial thermo-remanent magnetization using a steady field from -100 up to 100 μT. Another point that is worth noting is that one can apply a controlled atmosphere by means of argon flux to prevent oxidation of the studied sample during heating. We report here a technical description of this new instrument and review some specific applications in absolute paleointensity surveys.
Key words: Inductometer, absolute paleointensity, CatVTM, pTRM-tail.

Corresponding author E-mail: camps@gm.univ-montp2.fr

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