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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 18, 81–89, 2000
© European Geosciences Union 2000
Ann. Geophys., 18, 81–89, 2000
© European Geosciences Union 2000

  31 Jan 2000

31 Jan 2000

Latitudinal and longitudinal dispersion of energetic auroral protons

D. A. Lorentzen D. A. Lorentzen
  • University Studies on Svalbard (UNIS), N-9170 Langyearbyen, Norway
  • E-mail:

Abstract. Using a collision by collision model from Lorentzen et al., the latitudinal and longitudinal dispersion of single auroral protons are calculated. The proton energies varies from 1 to 50 keV, and are released into the atmosphere at 700 km altitude. The dipole magnetic field has a dip-angle of 8 degrees. Results show that the main dispersion region is at high altitudes (300-350 km) and occurs during the first few charge exchange collisions. As the proton travels further down the atmosphere the mean free path becomes smaller, and as a result the spreading effect will not be as pronounced. This means that the first few charge exchange collisions fully determines the width of both the latitudinal and longitudinal dispersion. The volume emission rate was calculated for energies between 1 and 50 keV, and it was found that dayside auroral hydrogen emissions rates were approximately 10 times weaker than nightside emission rates. Simulations were also performed to obtain the dependence of the particle dispersion as a function of initial pitch-angle. It was found that the dispersion varies greatly with initial pitch-angle, and the results are summarized in two tables; a main and an extreme dispersion region.

Key words. Ionosphere (auroral ionosphere; · particle precipitation) · Space plasma physics · (transport processes)

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