The Earth AntineutRino TomograpHy (EARTH) research and technological programme aims to produce a tomographic image of the radiogenic heat sources in the Earth's interior with a typical resolution of about 300km. Radiogenic heat sources produce antineutrinos through beta-decay. Antineutrinos are are highly penetrating, electrically neutral, nearly massless fundamental particles produced in large numbers in the Earth and in cores of nuclear reactors. The overwhelming majority of antineutrinos travel through the Earth without any interaction. They are therefore the probe for the identification and location of radiogenic heat sources.
The identification of the radiogenic process is based on the energy spectrum of the antineutrinos. Two major groups can be distinguished: natural decay and fission in reactors. The first group has a low energy (< ~3 MeV), the second group ranges up to 10 MeV. (MeV is a measure of energy: 1 MeV= 1.6 *10-13J.) EARTH therefore aims not only on localising the radiogenic heat sources but also on identifying their strength and if they are produced in natural decay or whether natural nuclear reactors (georeactors) are present in the Earth’s interior.