Antineutrino geophysics with liquid scintillator detectors

Casey G. Rothschild, Mark C. Chen, Frank P. Calaprice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Detecting the antineutrinos emitted by the decay of radioactive elements in the mantle and crust could provide a direct measurement of the total abundance of uranium and thorium in the Earth. In calculating the antineutrino flux at specific sites, the local geology of the crust and the background from the world's nuclear power reactors are important considerations. Employing a global crustal map, with type and thickness data, and using recent estimates of the uranium and thorium distribution in the Earth, we calculate the antineutrino event rate for two new neutrino detectors. We show that spectral features allow terrestrial antineutrino events to be identified about reactor antineutrino backgrounds and that the uranium and thorium contributions can be separately determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1086
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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