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The Henkel Petrophysical Plot: Mineralogy and Lithology from Physical Properties
  • Randolph Jonathan Enkin,
  • Tark Scott Hamilton,
  • William Morris
Randolph Jonathan Enkin
Geological Survey of Canada

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Tark Scott Hamilton
Geological Survey of Canada
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William Morris
McMaster University
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The Henkel plot (logarithm of magnetic susceptibility versus density of rock samples) reveals that most rocks fall on either a “magnetite trend” or a “paramagnetic trend”. Interpretation of gravity and magnetic surveys is improved when the mineralogical and lithological basis of these trends is understood. We present a quantitative mineralogical mixing model, involving the components QFC (quartz-feldspar-calcite), FM (ferromagnesian silicates), and M (magnetite), and discuss the geological processes which produce or modify these mixtures. Igneous rocks mostly plot on the magnetite trend, where the FM/M ratio is about 10. The density-susceptibility mineralogical mixing model is compatible with the CIPW mineral calculation for igneous classification from chemical analyses. Sedimentary and metamorphic processes usually involve oxidation, reduction, and/or iron loss, all which are magnetite-destructive and lead to petrophysical measurements along the paramagnetic trend where FM/M >1000. Mineralization, with the introduction of sulfides and oxides leads to dense rocks which do not plot along the magnetite nor paramagnetic trends. This quantitative analysis provides a method to integrate geological processes in the interpretation of geophysical surveys.
Jan 2020Published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems volume 21 issue 1. 10.1029/2019GC008818