Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geophysics (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Aleksey Smirnov

Committee Member 1

Will Cantrell

Committee Member 2

Jeremy Shannon


A detailed investigation of magnetic properties of the iron-bearing Traders and Curry members of the ~1.88 Ga Vulcan Iron Formation (Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula) was conducted using natural remanent magnetization, low-field magnetic susceptibility, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility, thermomagnetic and magnetic hysteresis, and first-order reversal curve analyses. A set of samples were also investigated using electron scanning microscopy and energy dispersive spectrometry. Contrary to previously accepted views, our results indicate that the Traders and Curry members have substantially different properties. The older Traders member is a typical banded iron formation characterized by a higher relative amount of magnetite and stronger magnetic susceptibility. The younger Curry member lacks consistent banding and is characterized by a lower magnetite-to-hematite ratio and weaker magnetic susceptibility. These observations are important for interpretation of future aeromagnetic surveys over the Vulcan Formation and may be useful for understanding the depositional regimes and environmental conditions during the late Paleoproterozoic.