Skip to content


  • Article
  • Open Access

Rock magnetic and geochemical analyses of surface sediment characteristics in deep ocean environments: A case study across the Ryukyu Trench

Earth, Planets and Space200860:BF03352781

  • Received: 30 September 2006
  • Accepted: 30 November 2007
  • Published:


Magnetic minerals in marine sediments are often dissolved or formed with burial depth, thereby masking the primary natural remanent magnetization and paleoclimate signals. In order to clarify the present sedimentary environment and the progressive changes with burial depth in the magnetic properties, we studied seven cores collected from the Ryukyu Trench, southwest Japan. Magnetic properties, organic geochemistry, and interstitial water chemistry of seven cores are described. Bottom water conditions at the landward slope, trench floor, and seaward slope are relatively suboxic, anoxic, and oxic, respectively. The grain size of the sediments become gradually finer with the distance from Okinawa Island and finer with increasing water depth. The magnetic carriers in the sediments are predominantly magnetite and maghemized magnetite, with minor amounts of hematite. In the topmost sediments from the landward slope, magnetic minerals are diluted by terrigenous materials and microfossils. The downcore variations in magnetic properties and geochemical data provided evidence for the dissolution of fine-grained magnetite with burial depth under an anoxic condition.

Key words

  • Marine sediments
  • rock magnetic properties
  • early diagenesis
  • interstitial water
  • sedimentary environments