At Earth's surface most of these nuclides are produced by neutron spallation.
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When one of these particles strikes an atom it can dislodge one or more protons and/or neutrons from that atom, producing a different element or a different isotope of the original element.
In rock and other materials of similar density, most of the cosmic ray flux is absorbed within the first meter of exposed material in reactions that produce new isotopes called cosmogenic nuclides.
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