Háskóli Íslands

University of Iceland Palaeomagnetism Laboratory

Institute of Earth Sciences, Room 380, Askja, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

Laboratory History

The palaeomagnetism laboratory was original setup by Leó Kristjánsson in 1975. It was refurbished in 2017 through a RANNÍS infrastructure grant. The laboratory is currently run by Maxwell Brown.


Maxwell Brown (maxwell@hi.is) - Research Specialist and laboratory manager
Jessica Till (jtill@hi.is) - Researcher
Justin Tonti-Filippini - Master's student

Current Research Areas

  • The evolution of the geomagnetic field over the 16 Ma geological history of Iceland (Brown).
  • Understanding the behaviour of geomagnetic field excursions (Brown).
  • Applications of palaeomagnetism and rock magnetism to geological problems (Brown and Till).
  • Palaeomagnetism and iron mineralogy of lower crustal rocks from the Samail Ophiolite, Oman (ICDP) (Till).*
  • Quantifying plant contributions of iron to soils (Till).
  • The Iceland Palaeomagnetism Database (under construction) (Tonti-Fillipini).


*Contact Jessica Till for Master's projects related to this research.


Laboratory room with Magnetic Measurements Ltd Low Field Cage

AGICO JR-6A Spinner Magnetometer

Magnetometer to measure remanent magnetization of rocks or sediments. Can measure cores or cubes up to 2.5 cm in diameter. Automatic (no need to reposition the specimen during measurement) or manual measurements can be made depending on the sample type. Can be used to determine the past direction of Earth's magnetic field or remanent magnetization remaining after application of demagnetizing or remagnetizing fields (see also AGICO LDA5/PAM1 and MMTD80 Thermal demagnetizer).

AGICO LDA5/PAM1 Alternating Field Demagnetizer and Anhysteretic/
Isothermal Remanent Magnetizer

LDA5 demagnetizes rock or sediment specimens with an alternating field up to 200 mT. Can demagnetize cores or cubes up to 2.5 cm in diameter. Used in conjunction with the AGICO JR6A magnetometer.

PAM1 imparts an anhysteretic remanant magnetization (ARM) in a d.c. field up to 500 μT or an isothermal remanent magnetization in a d.c. field up to 200 mT. Can be used to magnetize cores or cubes up to 2.5 cm in diameter. Useful for magnetic grain size characterization. Used in conjunction with the AGICO LDA5 AF demagnetizer and JR6A magnetometer.

AGICO KLY-3 Susceptibility Meter with CS-3 and CS-L adapters

Measures bulk susceptibility, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS), and susceptibility between -196ºC and 20ºC (CS-L adapter) and between 20ºC and 700ºC (CS-3 adapter). Bulk susceptibility and AMS can be measured on cores and cubes up to 2.5 cm in diameter. AMS can be measured using an automatic rotator. AMS is useful for qualitatively describing magnetic fabrics in rocks, sediments and glacial deposits. Susceptibility versus temperature measurements can be used to identify the magnetic mineralogy of a specimen and its propensity to alter. High temperature measurements can be run in air or argon. Sample chips or powders of a variety of materials can be measured. On loan from GFZ Potsdam.

Magnetic Measurements MMTD80 Thermal Demagnetizer

Temperature controlled oven to demagnetize up to 80 2.5 cm rock cores. Maximum temperature 800ºC. Can be used in conjunction with a d.c. power supply to remagnetize specimens for palaeointensity experiments. In addition to air, heating can be done in argon or vacuum with special holders.

Updated: 09/03/2018

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