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Measurement of the Gamma Ray Background in the Davis Cavern at the Sanford Underground Research Facility

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Early online date4 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


Deep underground environments are ideal for low background searches due to the attenuation of cosmic rays by passage through the earth. However, they are aaffected by backgrounds from -rays emitted by 40K and the 238U and 232Th decay chains in the surrounding rock. The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment will search for dark matter particle interactions with a liquid xenon TPC located within the Davis campus at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, at the 4,850-foot level. In order to characterise the cavern background, in-situ -ray measurements were taken with a sodium iodide detector in various locations and with lead shielding. The integral count rates (0{3300 keV) varied from 596 Hz to 1355 Hz for unshielded measurements, corresponding to a total ux in the cavern of 1:9 0:4
cm􀀀2s􀀀1. The resulting activity in the walls of the cavern
can be characterised as 220 60 Bq/kg of 40K, 29 15 Bq/kg of 238U, and 13 3 Bq/kg of 232Th.

    Research areas

  • physics.ins-det, hep-ex

ID: 114408177