Environmental Magnetism

Principles and Applications of Enviromagnetics


  • Mark Evans, MD FRCP, University Lecturer, University of Cambridge, UK; Consultant Physician, University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  • Friedrich Heller, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Magnetism is important in environmental studies for several reasons, the two most fundamental being that most substances exhibit some form of magnetic behavior, and that iron is one of the most common elements in the Earth's crust. Once sequestered in a suitable material, magnetic particles constitute a natural archive of conditions existing in former times. Magnetism provides a tracer of paleo-climatic and paleo-environmental conditions and processes.Environmental Magnetism details the occurrence and uses of magnetic materials in the natural environment. The first half of the volume describes the basic principles. The second half discusses the applications of magnetic measurements in various environmental settings on land, in lakes, in the ocean, and even various biological organisms.
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An indispensable reference work for undergraduates, researchers, lecturers, and professionals in geomagnetism, geology, pedology, archeology, oceanography, climatology, and earth system science.


Book information

  • Published: April 2003
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-243851-6


"Evans and Heller's latest text book constitutes a welcome update to the 1986 monograph: it is also the first major work on the subject in focus to be co-authored by people based on opposite sides of the Atlantic, which has resulted in a well-balanced, unbiased variety of examples and an extensive reference list." -Ian F. Snowball, Department of Geology, Lund University, in JOURNAL OF QUATERNARY SCIENCE, 2004 "For those active in environmental magnetic research, this book is a 'must-buy'. The authors should be congratulated for providing an excellent subject review in such an accessible, concise and well-presented fashion" --John Walden, University of St Andrews "Would make an excellent purchase for a departmental Library" --John Walden, University of St Andrews "The book provides a solid basis on which to construct an introductory course in the unfamiliar area of environmental magnetism...provides a rich source for selected material that may be used in other related courses. The book is a comprehensive collection of examples where the measurable properties of the magnetic minerals have been used to answer current questions." -Ronald Green, Fitzroy, Adelaide, SA, Australia for The Leading Edge (May 2004)

Table of Contents

Table of ContentsPrefaceChapter 1 - Introduction 1.1 Prospectus 1.2 An example 1.3 Scope of the subjectChapter 2 - Basic Magnetism 2.1 Diamagnetism, paramagnetism, ferromagnetism 2.2 Magnetic susceptibility 2.3 Magnetic hysteresis 2.4 Grain-size effects 2.5 Summary of magnetic parameters and terminology2.6 Enviromagnetic parameters2.7 Magnetic units2.8 Putting it all togetherChapter 3 - Enviromagnetic Minerals 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Iron oxides 3.3 Iron oxyhydroxides 3.4 Iron sulphides 3.5 Iron carbonate 3.6 Some examples 3.7 Room-temperature biplotsChapter 4 - Measurement and Techniques 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Measurement of magnetic parameters 4.3 Magnetic parameters used in environmental studies 4.4 Magnetic parameters unmixedChapter 5 - Processes and Pathways 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Soils and paleosols 5.3 Marine sediments 5.4 Rivers and lakesChapter 6 - Time 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Temporal characteristics of the geomagnetic field 6.3 Oxygen isotope stratigraphy 6.4 Milankovitch cyclesChapter 7 - Magnetoclimatology and Past Global Change 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Loess 7.3 Lake sediments 7.4 Marine sedimentsChapter 8 - Mass Transport 8.1 Introduction 8.2 Dust flux and climate 8.3 Erosion and sediment yield 8.4 Permeating fluids 8.5 Oceanic and atmospheric circulationChapter 9 - Magnetism in the Biosphere 9.1 Introduction 9.2 Biomineralization 9.3 Bacterial magnetism 9.4 Other organismsChapter 10 - Magnetic Monitoring of Pollution 10.1 Introduction 10.2 Soil contamination 10.3 Rivers, lakes and harbours 10.4 Atmospheric contaminants 10.5 Roadside pollution 10.6 PneumomagnetismChapter 11 - Archaeological and Early Hominid Environments 11.1 Introduction 11.2 Archaeological soils 11.3 Archaeological magnetic prospection surveys 11.4 Economy, industry and art 11.5 Speleomagnetism 11.6 Hominid evolutionChapter 12 - Our Planetary Magnetic Environment 12.1 Introduction 12.2 The geomagnetic field 12.3 The magnetosphereAppendix 1ReferencesGlossary