Comparing Time-Dependent Geomagnetic and Atmospheric Effects on Cosmogenic Nuclide Production Rate Scaling

Friday, 19 December 2014
Nathaniel A Lifton, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States
A recently published cosmogenic nuclide production rate scaling model based on analytical fits to Monte Carlo simulations of atmospheric cosmic ray flux spectra (both of which agree well with measured spectra) (Lifton et al., 2014, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 386, 149–160: termed the LSD model) provides two main advantages over previous scaling models: identification and quantification of potential sources of bias in the earlier models, and the ability to generate nuclide-specific scaling factors easily for a wide range of input parameters. The new model also provides a flexible framework for exploring the implications of advances in model inputs.

In this work, the scaling implications of two recent time-dependent spherical harmonic geomagnetic models spanning the Holocene will be explored. Korte and Constable (2011, Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 188, 247–259) and Korte et al. (2011, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 312, 497–505) recently updated earlier spherical harmonic paleomagnetic models used by Lifton et al. (2014) with paleomagnetic measurements from sediment cores in addition to archeomagnetic and volcanic data. These updated models offer improved accuracy over the previous versions, in part to due to increased temporal and spatial data coverage. With the new models as input, trajectory-traced estimates of effective vertical cutoff rigidity (RC- the standard method for ordering cosmic ray data) yield significantly different time-integrated scaling predictions when compared to the earlier models. These results will be compared to scaling predictions using another recent time-dependent spherical harmonic model of the Holocene geomagnetic field by Pavón-Carrasco et al. (2014, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 388, 98–109), based solely on archeomagnetic and volcanic paleomagnetic data, but extending to 14 ka.

In addition, the potential effects of time-dependent atmospheric models on LSD scaling predictions will be presented. Given the typical dominance of altitudinal over latitudinal scaling effects on cosmogenic nuclide production, incorporating transient global simulations of atmospheric structure (e.g., Liu et al., 2009, Science 325, 310–314) into scaling frameworks may contribute to improved understanding of long-term production rate variations.