The attenuation of the electron shower size beyond the shower maximum is studied with the KASCADE extensive air shower (EAS) experiment in the primary energy range of about 1014-1016 eV. Attenuation and absorption lengths are determined by applying different approaches, including the method of constant intensity, the decrease of the flux of EASs with increasing zenith angle, and its variation with ground pressure. We observe a significant dependence of the results on the applied method. The determined values of the attenuation length ranges from 175 to 196 g/cm2 and of the absorption length from 100 to 120 g/cm2. The origin of these differences is discussed emphasizing the influence of intrinsic shower fluctuations.

KASCADE Collaboration; Antoni, T.; Apel, W. D.; Badea, A. F.; Bekk, K.; Bercuci, A.; Blümer, H.; Bozdog, H.; Brancus, I. M.; Büttner, C.; Chilingarian, A.; Daumiller, K.; Doll, P.; Engel, R.; Engler, J.; Feßler, F.; Gils, H. J.; Glasstetter, R.; Haeusler, R.; Haungs, A.; Heck, D.; Hörandel, J. R.; Iwan, A.; Kampert, K.-H.; Klages, H. O.; Maier, G.; Mathes, H. J.; Mayer, H. J.; Milke, J.; Müller, M.; Obenland, R.; Oehlschläger, J.; Ostapchenko, S.; Petcu, M.; Rebel, H.; Risse, M.; Roth, M.; Schatz, G.; Schieler, H.; Scholz, J.; Thouw, T.; Ulrich, H.; Vardanyan, A.; Weber, J. H.; Weindl, A.; Wentz, J.; Wochele, J.; Zabierowski, J.

2003-09-01