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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Records of cosmogenic radionuclides Be-10, Al-26 and Cl-36 in corals: First studies on coral erosion rates and potential of dating very old corals

  • Author(s): Lal, D
  • Gallup, C D
  • Somayajulu, BLK
  • Vacher, L
  • Caffee, M W
  • Jull, AJT
  • Finkel, R C
  • Speed, R C
  • Winters, A
  • et al.

We present results of measurements of cosmogenic Be-10, Al-26 and Cl-36, and the indigenous (intrinsic) concentrations of the stable elements Be, Al and Cl in 120-200 kyr old corals from Barbados and Puerto Rico. The concentration levels of these radionuclides in the corals lie in the range 10(4) to 10(8) atoms/g. A comparison of the measured nuclide concentrations with those expected to be produced in the corals by nuclear interactions of energetic cosmic radiation shows that (i) the radionuclides Al-26 and Cl-36 are derived from in situ cosmic ray interactions in the corals after their formation, but that (ii) the radionuclide Be-10 owes its provenance in the coralline lattice primarily due to incorporation of dissolved beryllium in seawater in the lattice structure of the corals. Copyright (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd.

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