Prolonged production of 14C during the ~660 BCE solar proton event from Japanese tree rings

Hirohisa Sakurai, Fuyuki Tokanai, Fusa Miyake, Kazuho Horiuchi, Kimiaki Masuda, Hiroko Miyahara, Motonari Ohyama, Minoru Sakamoto, Takumi Mitsutani, Toru Moriya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Annual rings record the intensity of cosmic rays (CRs) that had entered into the Earth’s atmosphere. Several rapid 14C increases in the past, such as the 775 CE and 994CE 14C spikes, have been reported to originate from extreme solar proton events (SPEs). Another rapid 14C increase, also known as the ca. 660 BCE event in German oak tree rings as well as increases of 10Be and 36Cl in ice cores, was presumed similar to the 775 CE event; however, as the 14C increase of approximately 10‰ in 660 BCE had taken a rather longer rise time of 3–4 years as compared to that of the 775 CE event, the occurrence could not be simply associated to an extreme SPE. In this study, to elucidate the rapid increase in 14C concentrations in tree rings around 660 BCE, we have precisely measured the 14C concentrations of earlywoods and latewoods inside the annual rings of Japanese cedar for the period 669–633 BCE. Based on the feature of 14C production rate calculated from the fine measured profile of the 14C concentrations, we found that the 14C rapid increase occurred within 665–663.5 BCE, and that duration of 14C production describing the event is distributed from one month to 41 months. The possibility of occurrence of consecutive SPEs over up to three years is offered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number660
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1


Dive into the research topics of 'Prolonged production of 14C during the ~660 BCE solar proton event from Japanese tree rings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this