The slot technique for rock magnetic sampling

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We have developed a new technique for paleomagnetic sampling that allows one to sample extremely friable, poorly to moderately lithified sedimentary and volcanic materials. The method uses a portable electric drill and a dual blade masonry wheel (or two sharp steel cutting blades) with a 2 cm separation, which cuts two parallel slots in the material being sampled. A second set of cuts at right angles to the first produces a fixed, cubic pedestal around which a plastic sample box can be inserted, oriented and extracted. The method has allowed us to take samples at localities where we were not able to sample using other methods. To test the method we have sampled the Bandelier Tuff in northeast New Mexico and have measured the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) on boxes taken using the new method and on cylinders drilled at the same sites using standard techniques. Results show better AMS within-site precision for box samples taken using the new method. We conclude that the method is convenient, reliable and may be preferred in certain types of paleomagnetic studies. © 1993.

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Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors

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