Open Access

Controlled atmosphere vibrating thermo-magnetometer (CatVTM): a new device to optimize the absolute paleointensity determinations

Earth, Planets and Space200961:BF03352889

Received: 24 December 2007

Accepted: 9 May 2008

Published: 23 January 2009


The laboratory of paleomagnetism of Montpellier (France) has developed a new one-axis vibrating thermal magnetometer dedicated to the study of physical properties of natural rocks remanence. Among its key characteristics, this apparatus allows both measurement of the magnetization moment on the interval from room temperature to 700°C with a precision of 2 × 10-9 A m2 and acquisition of a total or a partial thermo-remanent magnetization using a steady field from -100 up to 100 μT. Another point that is worth noting is that one can apply a controlled atmosphere by means of argon flux to prevent oxidation of the studied sample during heating. We report here a technical description of this new instrument and review some specific applications in absolute paleointensity surveys.

Key words

Inductometer absolute paleointensity CatVTM pTRM-tail