Dr Carmen Grisel Méndez García2, Dr Santiago  Padilla1, Dr Corina Solís1, Dr Efraín Chávez1, Gerardo Rojas1, M.C Karen Gaitán De Los Ríos1, Dr.  Luis  Acosta1

1National Autonomous University Of Mexico, Coyoacán, Mexico, 2National Council for Science and Technology, Benito Juárez, Mexico

The National Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry (LEMA for its acronym in Spanish) is an AMS facility inaugurated in 2013. It is based on a 1 MV High Voltage Europe Engineering isotope separator. Since its foundation, LEMA has carried out numerous analyses in the study of 14C, which has been mainly used to date geological and archeological samples.
More recently, a significant effort has been made to open new lines of research.
The AMS system at LEMA has been optimized to measure the cosmogenic radionuclide 10Be. Several radiochemical procedures of extraction of this radionuclide have been analyzed and improved in different samples.
10Be is a cosmogenic radionuclide produced by spallation reactions between high-energy cosmic radiation and some atmosphere elements, mainly nitrogen and oxygen. Its long half-life (T1/2=1.39×106 y) makes it an element of great interest in environmental and geophysical sciences studies

The studies of meteoric 10Be have been applied extensively to many different systems in the last decades. Its study in rain waters, surface firns, ice cores, and particulate matter samples provides essential information about its production and distribution in the atmosphere. It can also be used as a tracer of climatic events. For example, meteoric 10Be associated with the aerosols can be used as a tracer of interactions in the lower Stratosphere, upper Troposphere, the air exchange between both atmospheric layers, and the deposition processes of Earth surface.

The information obtained from the analysis of the meteoric 10Be production is a powerful tool to increase the knowledge about past environmental and climatic changes due to being able to be used as tracer operating over time scales up to 107 years.

In this work, the preliminary results of the meteoric 10Be in particulate matter, rain, and snow samples, as well as the characterization of the process of extraction and measurement of this radioisotope with the AMS technique at the LEMA, Mexico facility, are presented.


Dr. Méndez, obtained her degree in Chemical Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de México in 2006. She did a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Technology in 2009, and in 2014 obtained her doctorate in Materials Science at the Research Center in Advanced Materials.

Currently, she holds the position of Conacyt Chair at the Physics Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, developing research on cosmogenic isotopes using accelerator mass spectrometry.

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Nov 08 - 19 2021