, Volume 176, Issue 1-4, pp 333-342

10Be Production in the Atmosphere by Galactic Cosmic Rays

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Abstract

Galactic cosmic ray nuclei and energetic protons produced in solar flares and accelerated by coronal mass ejections are the main sources of high-energy particles of extraterrestrial origin in near-Earth space and inside the Earth’s atmosphere. The intensity of galactic cosmic rays inside the heliosphere is strongly influenced by the modulation of the interstellar source particles on their way through interplanetary space. Among others, this modulation depends on the activity of the Sun, and the resulting intensity of the energetic particles in the atmosphere is an indicator of the solar activity. Therefore, rare isotopes found in historical archives and produced by spallation reactions of primary and secondary hadrons of cosmic origin in the atmosphere, so-called cosmogenic nuclides, can be used to reconstruct the solar activity in the past. The production rate of 10Be, one of the cosmogenic nuclides most adequate to study the solar activity, is presented showing its variations with geographic latitude and altitude and the dependence on different production cross-sections present in literature. In addition, estimates for altitude integrated production rates of 10Be at different locations since the early nineteen sixties are shown.