Identifying large chondrites using cosmogenic radionuclides

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Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, ISSN: 0168-583X, Vol: 268, Issue: 7, Page: 1185-1188

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Welten, K. C.; Caffee, M. W.; Hillegonds, D. J.; Masarik, J.; Nishiizumi, K.
Elsevier BV
Physics and Astronomy
article description
We measured the concentrations of the cosmogenic radionuclides 10 Be, 26 Al, 36 Cl and 41 Ca in the metal and stone fractions of three large chondrite showers to determine their pre-atmospheric size. Large chondrites are characterized by substantial contributions of neutron-capture 41 Ca in the stone fraction (up to ∼2 dpm/gCa), low radionuclide concentrations in the metal fraction and high 10 Be(stone)/ 10 Be(metal) ratios. Based on the measured concentrations in comparison with calculated cosmogenic nuclide depth profiles, using a semi-empirical and a purely physical model, we conclude that these objects had pre-atmospheric radii ranging from ∼80 cm to >3 m. We conclude that the semi-empirical model is more reliable for spallogenic production rates in large objects, while the purely physical model is more reliable for neutron-capture products.