Identification of the Magnetic Poles on Strong Magnetic Grains from Meteorites using Magnetotactic Bacteria

M. Funaki, H. Sakai, Tadashi Matsunaga

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetotactic bacteria (north seeking bacteria) have been used to identify the magnetic S pole of iron-nickel grains selected from St. Séverin LL6 chondrite. The results indicate that the bacteria are sensitive magnetic sensors which can be used to detect not only the S pole in the grains but also the directions of lines of magnetic force radiated from the grains. The magnetic coercive force and the stability of natural remanent magnetization can also be measured with the bacteria by applying a steady magnetic field. These methods can in principle be applied to terrestrial rocks having relatively strong natural remanent magnetization. Thus, the magnetotactic bacteria can give useful information for rock magnetism and paleomagnetism as a bio-magnetometer. Combining the method of south seeking bacteria and Bitter pattern analyses using colloidal magnetite particles, complex magnetization structures on the surface of Fe-Ni grains from the St. Séverin meteorite have been revealed, which is important for an understanding the chondrite magnetism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geomagnetism and Geoelectricity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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