The attraction of magnetic minerals!

Hi, my name is Hetti and I am a volunteer in Earth Sciences at Manchester Museum. I help to catalogue some of the rocks, minerals and fossils within the collection and I have recently come across some very interesting magnetic minerals.

Magnetite from Magnet Cove, Arkansas

David Gelsthorpe with Magnetite from Magnet Cove, Arkansas. See how it moves the compass!

There are many different naturally occurring magnetic minerals and all of them have different strengths of magnetism. The most magnetic naturally occurring mineral on Earth is Magnetite. Large deposits of magnetite have been found in Chile, Peru, Australia and across the USA

Magnetite from Magnet Cove, Arkansas

Magnetite from Magnet Cove, Arkansas. See how it moves the compass!

Magnetic properties of minerals are really useful to geologists trying to identify minerals in the field but they have also been important in helping to understand plate tectonics!

As magnetic minerals form they record the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. Geologists can use this information locked within these rocks to understand the directions tectonic plates have moved in the past.

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2 Responses

  1. well done hetti that was a wonderful blog, can’t wait 4 u’re next. x

  2. […] The attraction of magnetic minerals! « Palaeo ManchesterAug 8, 2011 … Hi, my name is Hetti and I am a volunteer in Earth Sciences at Manchester Museum. I help to catalogue some of the rocks, minerals and fossils … […]

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