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Abstract

Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) is an efficient and selective laser-based atom counting technique that provides radiokrypton 81Kr and 85Kr dating to the earth science community. 81Kr (half-life = 230,000 yr) is an ideal tracer for old water and ice with mean residence times of 10^5 - 10^6 years, a range beyond the reach of 14C-dating. 85Kr (half-life = 10.7 yr) is an increasingly important tracer for young groundwater in the age range of 5 - 50 years. ,Over the past three years, we have implemented a number of developments that have improved the precision and efficiency of the ATTA technique. These developments have further allowed us to make new leaps in the analysis of both isotopes. For 81Kr, we have demonstrated measurements of 81Kr/Kr with relative one-sigma uncertainties of 1% and placed an improved limit on anthropogenic 81Kr in the atmosphere, removing a systematic constraint to high precision 81Kr-dating. For 85Kr, we have developed new methodologies that increase sample throughput from 1 sample every 48 hours to 6 samples in 24 hours. All the while, we have used the ATTA-3 system at Argonne National Laboratory to continue and provide sample measurements to the scientific community and have now completed over 230 measurements in more than 25 collaborative projects which together span all seven continents.,Finally we have investigated options for further development of the ATTA technique given the growing demand and new applications present within the scientific community at large. Ultimately, we aspire, through ATTA, to make radiokrypton dating as readily and easily available as radiocarbon dating.

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