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Title: Empirical Evidence for Latitude and Altitude Variation of the In Situ Cosmogenic 26Al/10Be Production Ratio
We assess if variations in the in situ cosmogenic 26Al/10Be production ratio expected from nuclear physics are consistent with empirical data, knowledge critical for two-isotope studies. We do this using 313 samples from glacially transported boulders or scoured bedrock with presumed simple exposure histories in the Informal Cosmogenic-nuclide Exposure-age Database (ICE-D) from latitudes between 53°S to 70°N and altitudes up to 5000 m above sea level. Although there were small systematic differences in Al/Be ratios measured in different laboratories, these were not significant and are in part explained by differences in elevation distribution of samples analyzed by each laboratory. We observe a negative correlation between the 26Al/10Be production ratio and elevation (p = 0.0005), consistent with predictions based on the measured energy dependence of nuclear reaction cross-sections and the spatial variability in cosmic-ray energy spectra. We detect an increase in the production ratio with increasing latitude, but this correlation is significant only in a single variate model, and we attribute at least some of the correlation to sample elevation bias because lower latitude samples are typically from higher elevations (and vice versa). Using 6.75 as the 26Al/10Be production ratio globally will bias two-isotope results at higher elevations and perhaps higher more » latitudes. Data reported here support using production rate scaling that incorporates such ratio changes, such as the LSDn scheme, to minimize such biases. « less
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