36Cl production rate from K-spallation in the European Alps (Chironico landslide, Switzerland)

Schimmelpfennig, I; Schaefer, J.M.; Putnam, A.E.; Benedetti, L.; Ivy-Ochs, S.; Aster, Team; Schlüchter, Christian (2014). 36Cl production rate from K-spallation in the European Alps (Chironico landslide, Switzerland). Journal of quaternary science JQS, 29(5), pp. 407-413. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 10.1002/jqs.2720

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The abundant production of in situ cosmogenic 36Cl from potassium renders 36Cl measurements in K-rich rocks or minerals, such as K-feldspars, potentially useful for precisely dating rock surfaces, either in single-nuclide or in multi-nuclide studies, for example combined with 10Be measurements in quartz. However, significant discrepancies in experimentally calibrated 36Cl production rates from spallation of potassium (36PK-sp), referenced to sea-level/high-latitude (SLHL), limit the accuracy of 36Cl dating from K-rich lithologies. We present a new 36Cl calibration using K-feldspars, in which K-spallation is the most dominant 36Cl production pathway (>92% of total 36Cl), thus minimizing uncertainties from the complex multi-pathway 36Cl production systematics. The samples are derived from boulders of an ∼13.4 ka-old landslide in the Swiss Alps (∼820 m, 46.43°N, 8.85°E). We obtain a local 36PK-sp of 306 ± 16 atoms 36Cl (g K)−1 a−1 and an SLHL 36PK-sp of 145.5 ± 7.7 atoms 36Cl (g K)−1 a−1, when scaled with a standard scaling protocol (‘Lm’). Applying this SLHL 36PK-sp to determine 36Cl exposure ages of K-feldspars from 10Be-dated moraine boulders yields excellent agreement, confirming the validity of the new SLHL 36PK-sp for surface exposure studies, involving 36Cl in K-feldspars, in the Alps.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Schlüchter, Christian


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.




Sarah Antenen

Date Deposited:

11 Aug 2015 16:04

Last Modified:

11 Aug 2015 16:04

Publisher DOI:






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