We make fundamental observations of the particle size variability of magnetic properties from 71 core tops that span the southern Greenland and Norwegian Seas. These data provide the first detailed regional characterization of how bulk magnetic properties vary with sediment texture, sediment source, and sediment transport. Magnetic susceptibility (MS) and hysteresis parameters were measured on the bulk sediment and the five constituent sediment particle size fractions (clay, fine silt, medium silt, coarse silt, and sand). The median MS value of the medium silt size fraction is ~3–5 times higher than that of the sand and clay size fractions and results in a strong sensitivity of bulk MS to sediment texture. Hysteresis properties of the clay size fraction are relatively homogeneous and contrast that silt and sand size fractions which show regional differences across the study area. These coarser fractions are more transport limited and using medium silt hysteresis measurements and low temperature MS behavior we establish three endmembers that effectively explain the variability observed across the region. We model the response of bulk magnetic properties to changes in sediment texture and suggest that variations in sediment source are required to explain the bulk magnetic property variability observed in cores across the southern Greenland and Norwegian Seas. These findings imply that sediment source has a greater influence on driving bulk magnetic property variability across this region than has previously been assumed. ©2019. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Chemistry and Pharmacology