University of Oulu

Poluianov, S. V., Kovaltsov, G. A., & Usoskin, I. G. (2020). A new full 3‐D model of cosmogenic tritium 3H production in the atmosphere (CRAC:3H). Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 125, e2020JD033147.

A new full 3‐D model of cosmogenic tritium ³H production in the atmosphere (CRAC:3H)

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Author: Poluianov, S. V.1,2; Kovaltsov, G. A.3; Usoskin, I. G.1,2
Organizations: 1Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-03-03


A new model of cosmogenic tritium (³H) production in the atmosphere is presented. The model belongs to the CRAC (Cosmic Ray Atmospheric Cascade) family and is named as CRAC:3H. It is based on a full Monte Carlo simulation of the cosmic ray induced atmospheric cascade using the Geant4 toolkit. The CRAC:3H model is able, for the first time, to compute tritium production at any location and time, for any given energy spectrum of the primary incident cosmic ray particles, explicitly treating, also for the first time, particles heavier than protons. This model provides a useful tool for the use of ³H as a tracer of atmospheric and hydrological circulation. A numerical recipe for practical use of the model is appended.

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Series: Journal of geophysical research. Atmospheres
ISSN: 2169-897X
ISSN-E: 2169-8996
ISSN-L: 2169-897X
Volume: 125
Issue: 18
Article number: e2020JD033147
DOI: 10.1029/2020JD033147
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
Funding: This work was partly supported by the Academy of Finland (Projects ESPERA no. 321882 and ReSoLVE Centre of Excellence, no. 307411).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 321882
Detailed Information: 321882 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
307411 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: The yield/production functions and production rates of tritium, obtained in this work, are available in the supporting information to this paper. The used cross‐section data can be found in Nir et al. (1966) and Coste et al. (2012). The toolkit Geant4 (Agostinelli et al., 2003; Allison et al., 2006) is freely distributed under Geant4 Software License ( This work used publicly available data for SEP events from the GLE database (, sunspot number series from SILSO (, Clette & Lefèvre, 2016), and heliospheric modulation potential series provided by the Oulu cosmic ray station (
Copyright information: © 2020. American Geophysical Union. The final authenticated version is available online at