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The definitive version was published in Quaternary Geochronology 30 (2015): 114–131, doi:10.1016/j.quageo.20.
We here present the first results of an artificial target experiment measuring, for the first time, cosmogenic Ne in quartz after one year of exposure at mountain altitudes in the Swiss Alps.
Previous artificial target experiments have mainly focused on water (Lal et al., 1960; Nishiizumi et al., 1996; Graham et al., 2000; Brown et al., 2000), although one pilot experiment used a silicate glass (Graf et al., 1996). These were stainless steel containers with 14 cm radius and 45 cm height, filled with 4 kg of industrial quartz sand of natural origin (Fluka, no. The targets were heated to C under vacuum for a week in order to ensure complete degassing prior to exposure, and double sealed with a valve and copper tube clamp to prevent atmospheric leaks during exposure.
We conclude this paper with an outlook to the future, when duplicate artificial targets will be used to determine the a – Target material: artificially grown single quartz crystal before crushing. Note that the pinch-off clamp (missing in the picture) is mounted and closed before decoupling the target from the system.
c – Prototype container outfitted with two thermocouples to verify thermal equilibration.
Additionally, a sixth set of two blank targets was stored in the basement of a 10-storey building housing the ETH noble gas laboratory, 15m below street level, and effectively shielded from cosmic ray exposure.
Exactly one year later, the targets were retrieved and subsequently measured.
There are two reasons why the first target design failed.The Zürich, Davos, and Säntis targets were installed outside and secured to the railings of meteorological equipment.Because of the extremely high wind speeds at the Jungfraujoch and Monte Rosa sites, those targets were kept inside.Data reduction included corrections for non-atmospheric blanks, shielding, solar modulation, and tritiogenic helium (Section 3). The altitude dependency of the TCN production rates was quantified by plotting them against atmospheric depth, yielding attenuation lengths that are in perfect agreement with existing scaling models (Section 5).Production rates were scaled to sea level and high latitude and agree well with previous determinations on natural calibration sites (Section 6).
Search for cosmogenic 3he helium age dating:
To eliminate the trapped neon component and ensure optimal degassing, the radius of the seemless stainless steel (grade 1.4301) canisters was reduced from 14 to 6 cm (Figure 1.c), and in order to eliminate the nucleogenic component, we used artificially grown quartz crystals of optimal purity (supplied by Morion Company, USA), which were crushed to 250-500 49 ppb, respectively, which is below the detection limit of the method and also below the levels measured in the Fluka quartz sand (Strasky, 2008).