Calibration of the in situ cosmogenic 14C production rate in New Zealand's Southern Alps



In situ cosmogenic 14C (in situ 14C) analysis from quartz-bearing rocks is a novel isotopic tool useful for quantifying recent surface exposure histories (up to ∼25 ka). It is particularly powerful when combined with longer-lived cosmogenic isotopes such as 10Be. Recent advances in the extraction of in situ 14C from quartz now permit the routine application of this method. However, only a few experiments to calibrate the production rate of in situ 14C in quartz have been published to date. Here, we present a new in situ 14C production rate estimate derived from a well-dated debris flow deposit in the Southern Alps, New Zealand, previously used to calibrate 10Be production rates. For example, based on a geomagnetic implementation of the Lal/Stone scaling scheme we derive a spallogenic production rate of 11.4 ± 0.9 atoms 14C (g quartz)−1 a−1 and a 14C/10Be spallogenic production rate ratio of 3.0 ± 0.2. The results are comparable with production rates from previous calibrations in the northern hemisphere. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.