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Measuring, processing, and analyzing hysteresis data
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  • Greig Paterson,
  • Xiang Zhao,
  • Mike Jackson,
  • David Heslop
Greig Paterson

Corresponding Author:greig.paterson@liverpool.ac.uk

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Xiang Zhao

Corresponding Author:xiang.zhao@anu.edu.au

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Mike Jackson

Corresponding Author:irm@umn.edu

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David Heslop

Corresponding Author:david.heslop@anu.edu.au

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Magnetic hysteresis loops are an important tool in theoretical and applied rock magnetism with applications to paleointensities, paleoenvironmental analysis, and tectonic studies, among many others. Hence, information derived from these data is amongst the most ubiquitous rock magnetic data used by the Earth science community. Despite their prevalence, there are no general guidelines to aid scientists in obtaining the best possible data and no widely available software to allow the efficient analysis of hysteresis loop data using the most advanced and appropriate methods. Here we provide an outline of detrimental factors and simple approaches to measuring better hysteresis loops as well as introducing a new MATLAB software package called Hysteresis Loop analysis box (HystLab) for processing and analyzing loop data. This graphical user interface software is capable of reading the wide range of data formats that are generated by the multiple types of equipment typically used to measure hysteresis loops. HystLab provides an easy-to-use interface allowing users to visualize their data and perform advanced processing, including loop centering, drift correction, linear and approach to saturation high-field slope corrections, as well as loop fitting to improve the results from noisy specimens. A large number of hysteresis loop properties and statistics are calculated by HystLab and can be exported to text files for further analysis. All plots generated by HystLab are customizable and user preferences can be saved for future use. In addition, all plots can be exported to encapsulated postscript (EPS) files that are publication ready with little or no adjustment, greatly enhancing workflow productivity when processing and analyzing large data sets. HystLab is freely available for download at https://github.com/greigpaterson/HystLab and in combination with our simple measurement guide should help the paleo- and rock magnetic communities get the most from their hysteresis data.
Jul 2018Published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems volume 19 issue 7 on pages 1925-1945. 10.1029/2018GC007620