G. Fiorentini, G. L. Fogli, E. Lisi, F. Mantovani, and A. M. Rotunno
Phys. Rev. D 86, 033004 – 3 August 2012
The KamLAND and Borexino experiments have observed, each at ∼4σ level, signals of electron antineutrinos produced in the decay chains of thorium and uranium in the Earth’s crust and mantle (Th and U geoneutrinos). Various pieces of geochemical and geophysical information allow an estimation of the crustal geoneutrino flux components with relatively small uncertainties. The mantle component may then be inferred by subtracting the estimated crustal flux from the measured total flux. To this purpose, we analyze in detail the experimental Th and U geoneutrino event rates in KamLAND and Borexino, including neutrino oscillation effects. We estimate the crustal flux at the two detector sites, using state-of-the-art information about the Th and U distribution on global and local scales. We find that crust-subtracted signals show hints of a residual mantle component, emerging at ∼2.4σ level by combining the KamLAND and Borexino data. The inferred mantle flux slightly favors scenarios with relatively high Th and U abundances, within ±1σ uncertainties comparable to the spread of predictions from recent mantle models.