Like Earth, Titan is a world with many active processes operating, no doubt, over a wide range of timescales. In such an environment anything that can act as an absolute time marker in the landscape has the potential to yield a rich store of information. In an eye-opening paper* now a decade old Lorenz et. al. lay out this potential in respect of radiocarbon. They point out that not only will C14 be produced by the action of cosmic rays on Titan’s atmosphere but Titan has, in the formation of solid haze particles, a mechanism for removing it from the air and depositing it on the surface in solid or liquid form. Indeed Titan is probably the only place in the Solar System other than Earth where such a mechanism operates and where, as a consequence, there is the potential to use radiocarbon to track and date active processes in the landscape. The timescale involved is from centuries to a few tens of millennia, commensurate with the half-life of C14.
Well, there is another radioactive species produced by the action of cosmic rays on atmospheric nitrogen, namely beryllium 10. It has a much longer half-life, around 1.3 million years, which could make it the perfect complement to C14 by taking over the role of landscape marker for timescales in the range 10^5 t 10^7 yr. On Earth it is used as a tool for studying palaeoclimate. My (inexpert) searches have not turned up any references to Be10 on Titan so I thought I’d post my questions here. I’ve read enough to be sure that Be10 must form in Titan’s atmosphere, just like C14, so my questions are:
1/ Are there papers out there that I haven’t found where this is mentioned or discussed?
2/ If not, has anybody heard it raised informally, at a conference or whatever?
3/ What would likely happen to the Be 10 once formed? How would it react chemically? Would it be incorporated into haze particles or other precipitation and thereby end up in lakes and sediments?