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Journal Article

The SPICE project: Production rates of cosmogenic 21Ne, 10Be, and 14C in quartz from the 72 ka SP basalt flow, Arizona, USA


Fenton,  Cassandra R.
External Organizations;


Niedermann,  Samuel
3.1 Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry, 3.0 Geochemistry, Departments, GFZ Publication Database, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum;

Dunai,  Tibor
External Organizations;

Binnie,  Steven A.
External Organizations;

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Fenton, C. R., Niedermann, S., Dunai, T., Binnie, S. A. (2019): The SPICE project: Production rates of cosmogenic 21Ne, 10Be, and 14C in quartz from the 72 ka SP basalt flow, Arizona, USA. - Quaternary Geochronology, 54, 101019.

Cite as: https://gfzpublic.gfz-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_4716891
The SP lava flow is a quartz-, olivine- and pyroxene-bearing basalt with an 40Ar/39Ar age of 72 ± 4 ka (2σ). The flow is preserved in the desert climate of northern Arizona, USA. Its unweathered appearance and the lack of soil development indicate it has undergone negligible erosion and/or burial, making it an ideal site for direct calibration of cosmogenic nuclide production rates. Cross-calibrated production rates and production rate ratios for cosmogenic 21Ne, 10Be, and 14C have been determined from SP flow quartz. Production rate ratios for 21Ne/10Be, 21Ne/14C, and 14C/10Be are based on the total, local production rates of each cosmogenic nuclide, independent of scaling models, and have error-weighted means (±2σ uncertainty) of 4.44 ± 0.32, 1.43 ± 0.10, and 2.85 ± 0.21, respectively. Error-weighted mean, sea-level, high latitude (SLHL) total reference production rates of 21Ne, 10Be, and 14C are 17.0 ± 1.1, 3.84 ± 0.27, and 11.2 ± 0.6 at/g/yr (2σ), respectively, using time-independent Lal (1991) / Stone (2000) (St) scaling factors. St scaled spallogenic 10Be and 14C rates are 3.73 ± 0.26 and 9.2 ± 0.6 at/g/yr, respectively. 21Ne and 10Be production rates are integrated over the past 72 ka, whereas 14C production rates are integrated over 25 ka, the time at which SP flow quartz has reached saturation with respect to 14C. These rates overlap within 2σ uncertainty with other St-scaled production rates in the literature, including the total reference SLHL 21Ne production rate of Niedermann (2000), which is revised in this paper to 16.8 ± 3.3 at/g/yr (2σ; St scaling) to reflect a recent change in age control at the Sierra Nevada sites. All SLHL production rates are lower if time- dependent Sf, Sa, and Lm scaling factors are used. For example, error-weighted mean, sea-level, high latitude (SLHL) total reference production rates for 10Be as calculated in the CREp online calculator range from 3.49 ± 0.23 to 3.74 ± 0.25 at/g/yr (2σ), using time-dependent Lm scaling factors. Commonly used SLHL 10Be and 14C production rates in the literature were calibrated on surfaces that have been exposed to cosmic rays for less than 20 ka. Between 20 and 50 ka, the geomagnetic field is proposed to have been weaker than it is today. Production rates of cosmogenic nuclides increase during periods of weaker geomagnetic field strength. However, our study finds no measureable difference between St-scaled production rates of cosmogenic 21Ne and 10Be over the past 20 ka and St-scaled 21Ne and 10Be production rates over the past 72 ka. As such, the study suggests that 21Ne and 10Be production rates in quartz were not significantly greater during the proposed period of decreased magnetic strength from 20 to 50 ka.