A localised co-rotating auroral absorption event observed near noon using imaging riometer and EISCAT
- 1Engineering Dept., SECAMS, University of Lancaster, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YR, UK
- 2On leave from EISCAT, Box 812, S-981 28 Kiruna, Sweden
Abstract. An isolated region of energetic electron precipitation observed near local noon in the auroral zone has been investigated using imaging riometer (IRIS) and incoherent-scatter radar (EISCAT) techniques. IRIS revealed that the absorption event was essentially co-rotating with the Earth for about 2 h. The spatial and temporal variations in D-region electron density seen by EISCAT were able to be interpreted within a proper context when compared with the IRIS data. EISCAT detected significant increases in electron density at altitudes as low as 65 km as the event drifted through the radar beam. The altitude distribution of incremental radio absorption revealed that more than half of the absorption occurred below 75 km, with a maximum of 67 km. The energy spectrum of the precipitating electrons was highly uniform throughout the event, and could be described analytically by the sum of three exponential distributions with characteristic energies of 6, 70 and 250 keV. A profile of effective recombination coefficient that resulted in self-consistent agreement between observed electron desities and those inferred from an inversion procedure has been deduced. The observations suggest a co-rotating magnetospheric source region on closed dayside field lines. However, a mechanism is required that can sustain such hard precipitation for the relatively long duration of the event.