Identifying large chondrites using cosmogenic radionuclides

K. C. Welten, M. W. Caffee, D. J. Hillegonds, J. Masarik, K. Nishiizumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We measured the concentrations of the cosmogenic radionuclides 10Be, 26Al, 36Cl and 41Ca 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 41Ca in the stone fraction (up to ∼2 dpm/gCa), low radionuclide concentrations in the metal fraction and high 10Be(stone)/10Be(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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1185-1188
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Chondrites
  • Cosmogenic radionuclides
  • Model calculations
  • Pre-atmospheric size
  • Production rates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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