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Energetic electron precipitation and auroral morphology at the substorm recovery phase

It is well known that auroral patterns at the substorm recovery phase are characterized by diffuse or patch structures with intensity pulsation. According to satellite measurements and simulation studies, the precipitating electrons associated with these aurorae can reach or exceed energies of a few hundreds of keV through resonant wave-particle interactions in the magnetosphere. However, because of difficulty of simultaneous measurements, the dependency of energetic electron precipitation (EEP) on auroral morphological changes in the mesoscale has not been investigated to date. In order to study this dependency, we have analyzed data from the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) radar, the Kilpisjärvi Atmospheric Imaging Receiver Array (KAIRA) riometer, collocated cameras, ground-based magnetometers, the Van Allen Probe satellites, Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES), and the Antarctic-Arctic Radiation-belt (Dynamic) Deposition-VLF Atmospheric Research Konsortium (AARDDVARK). Here we undertake a detailed examination of two case studies. The selected two events suggest that the highest energy of EEP on those days occurred with auroral patch formation from postmidnight to dawn, coinciding with the substorm onset at local midnight. Measurements of the EISCAT radar showed ionization as low as 65 km altitude, corresponding to EEP with energies of about 500 keV.

Oyama, S.; Kero, A.; Rodger, C.; Clilverd, M.; Miyoshi, Y.; Partamies, N.; Turunen, E.; Raita, T.; Verronen, P.; Saito, S.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023484

auroral patch; EEP; Ionosphere; plasma wave; recovery phase; substorm; Van Allen Probes


Mesospheric ozone destruction by high-energy electron precipitation associated with pulsating aurora

Energetic particle precipitation into the upper atmosphere creates excess amounts of odd nitrogen and odd hydrogen. These destroy mesospheric and upper stratospheric ozone in catalytic reaction chains, either in situ at the altitude of the energy deposition or indirectly due to transport to other altitudes and latitudes. Recent statistical analysis of satellite data on mesospheric ozone reveals that the variations during energetic electron precipitation from Earth\textquoterights radiation belts can be tens of percent. Here we report model calculations of ozone destruction due to a single event of pulsating aurora early in the morning on 17 November 2012. The presence of high-energy component in the precipitating electron flux (>200 keV) was detected as ionization down to 68 km altitude, by the VHF incoherent scatter radar of European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) Scientific Association (EISCAT VHF) in Troms\o, Norway. Observations by the Van Allen Probes satellite B showed the occurrence of rising tone lower band chorus waves, which cause the precipitation. We model the effect of high-energy electron precipitation on ozone concentration using a detailed coupled ion and neutral chemistry model. Due to a 30 min, recorded electron precipitation event we find 14\% odd oxygen depletion at 75 km altitude. The uncertainty of the higher-energy electron fluxes leads to different possible energy deposition estimates during the pulsating aurora event. We find depletion of odd oxygen by several tens of percent, depending on the precipitation characteristics used in modeling. The effect is notably maximized at the sunset time following the occurrence of the precipitation.

Turunen, Esa; Kero, Antti; Verronen, Pekka; Miyoshi, Yoshizumi; Oyama, Shin-Ichiro; Saito, Shinji;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres      Published on: 10/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JD025015

EISCAT; electron precipitation; ion chemistry; mesosphere; ozone; pulsating aurora; Van Allen Probes