Magnetic anisotropy in clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene single crystals

Biedermann, Andrea R.; Pettke, Thomas; Bender Koch, C.; Hirt, A. M. (2015). Magnetic anisotropy in clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene single crystals. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 120(3), pp. 1431-1451. American Geophysical Union 10.1002/2014JB011678

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Pyroxenes constitute an important component in mafic igneous and metamorphic rocks. They often possess a prismatic habit, and their long axis, the crystallographic c axis, helps define a lineation in a textured rock. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) serves as a fabric indicator in igneous and metamorphic rocks. If a rock’s AMS is carried by pyroxenes, it can be related to their crystallographic preferred orientation and degree of alignment. This requires knowing the intrinsic AMS of pyroxene single crystals. This study provides a comprehensive low-field and high-field AMS investigation of chemically diverse
orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene crystals in relation to crystal structure, chemical composition, oxidation state of Fe, and the possible presence of ferromagnetic inclusions. The paramagnetic anisotropy, extracted from high-field data, shows clear relationships to crystallographic directions and Fe concentration both in clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene. In the diopside-augite series, the intermediate susceptibility is parallel to b, and the maximum is at 45° to the c axis. In aegirine, the intermediate axis remains parallel to b, while the maximum susceptibility is parallel to c. The AMS of spodumene depends on Fe concentration. In enstatite, the maximum susceptibility aligns with c and the minimum with b, and in the case of hypersthene, the maximum susceptibility is normal to the exsolution lamellae. Magnetite inclusions within augite possess a ferromagnetic anisotropy with consistent orientation of the principal susceptibilities, which dominates the low-field anisotropy. These results provide better understanding of magnetic anisotropy in pyroxenes and form a solid basis for interpretation of magnetic fabrics in pyroxene-bearing rocks.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Rock-Water Interaction

UniBE Contributor:

Biedermann, Andrea Regina, Pettke, Thomas


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




American Geophysical Union




Thomas Pettke

Date Deposited:

08 May 2015 13:55

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:46

Publisher DOI:





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