Magnetic properties of dashing rocks loess at Timaru, South Island, New Zealand

Mingming Ma, Xiuming Liu*, Brad J. Pillans, Shouyun Hu, Bin Lü, Huifeng Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    The relationships between magnetic susceptibility and pedogenic development are different in various regions of the world. For example, loess magnetic susceptibility shows a positive correlation with pedogenic development in Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), while it displays a negative correlation with pedogenesis in Alaska and Siberia. To better understand the relationship between magnetic properties and pedogenic development, detailed sampling of Dashing Rocks loess section at Timaru, South Island, New Zealand, was carried out. Multiproxy magnetic parameters such as magnetic susceptibility, anhysteretic remanent magnetization, magnetic hysteresis loops, Ms-T curves and κ-T curves were measured. The results show that the types of magnetic minerals are similar to CLP: magnetite, maghemite, goethite and hematite. However, great differences are found in their concentration: most minerals in the Dashing Rocks section are hard magnetic, such as goethite, the content of paramagnetic minerals is rather high, while the soft-magnetic mineral content is very low. Hard-magnetic and paramagnetic minerals increase with depth, but soft-magnetic minerals decrease with depth, and are absent in the lower part of the profile. Gammate soil structures and Fe/Mn nodules (or pans) are commonly observed in the section, indicating that high susceptibility magnetite and maghemite have been converted to goethite and migrated downward to enrich certain horizons during chemical weathering. This process leads to lower magnetic susceptibility values, possibly related to the source and the transformation of soft-magnetic minerals in a high soil moisture environment. The relationship between magnetic susceptibility and pedogenic development in Dashing Rocks loess section is therefore different from the simple positive and negative relationships in CLP and Siberia, respectively. The more complex relationships between magnetic properties and pedogenic development in New Zealand loess may be related to differing degrees of magnetic mineral transformation at different depths and at different times.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)75-85
    Number of pages11
    JournalGeophysical Journal International
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


    Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic properties of dashing rocks loess at Timaru, South Island, New Zealand'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this