A measurement of the depth dependence of the coincidence rates induced by atmospheric muons was performed using the first two KM3NeT Detection Units.
The Detection Units are positioned at a depth of approximately 3.5 km. Even though the large water overburden shields them from the bulk of the cosmic ray air shower particles, a significant amount of downgoing atmospheric muons reaches the detector. Due to the considerable height of the strings (approximately 630 m from the lowest to the highest module) the muon flux is expected to change along the strings.
For this analysis every Digital Optical Module is considered as a stand-alone unit. The KM3NeT multi-PMT design allows each optical module to be calibrated in-situ and allows to identify atmospheric muon events by requiring high-multiplicity local coincidences.
The excellent agreement between the data and the Monte Carlo simulations confirms that the measured coincidence rate as a function of the depth matches the expected behaviour due to the depth dependence of the atmospheric muon flux.