Back to overview

Atmospheric 81Kr as an integrator of cosmic-ray flux on the hundred-thousand-year timescale

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Zappala J. C., Baggenstos D., Gerber C., Jiang W., Kennedy B. M., Lu Z. T., Masarik J., Mueller P., Purtschert R., Visser A.,
Project Klima- und Umweltphysik: Isotope im Erdklimasystem (icoCEP)
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Geophysical Research Letters
Volume (Issue) n/a
Page(s) 2019 - 086381
Title of proceedings Geophysical Research Letters


Abstract The atmospheric abundance of 81Kr is a global integrator of cosmic rays. It is insensitive to climate shifts, geographical variations, and short-term solar cycle activity, making it an ideal standard to test models of cosmic-ray flux on the timescale of 105 years. Here we present the first calculation of absolute 81Kr production rates in the atmosphere, and a measurement of the atmospheric 81Kr/Kr abundance via the Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) method. The measurement result significantly deviates from previously reported values. The agreement between measurement and model prediction supports the current understanding of the production mechanisms. Additionally, the calculated 81Kr atmospheric inventory over the past 1.5 My provides a more accurate input function for radiokrypton dating.