Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

IF value: 1.490
IF 5-year value: 1.445
IF 5-year
CiteScore value: 2.9
SNIP value: 0.789
IPP value: 1.48
SJR value: 0.74
Scimago H <br class='widget-line-break'>index value: 88
Scimago H
h5-index value: 21
Volume 22, issue 5
Ann. Geophys., 22, 1595–1611, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 22, 1595–1611, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  08 Apr 2004

08 Apr 2004

Global auroral conductance distribution due to electron and proton precipitation from IMAGE-FUV observations

V. Coumans1, J.-C. Gérard1, B. Hubert1, M. Meurant1, and S. B. Mende2 V. Coumans et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Physique Atmosphérique et Planétaire, Université de Liège, B5C, Allée du 6 Août 17, 4000 Liège, Belgium
  • 2SSL, University of California, Berkeley, Centennial Drive at Grizzly Peak Blvd, CA 94720–7450, USA

Abstract. The Far Ultraviolet (FUV) imaging system on board the IMAGE satellite provides a global view of the north auroral region in three spectral channels, including the SI12 camera sensitive to Doppler shifted Lyman-α emission. FUV images are used to produce instantaneous maps of electron mean energy and energy fluxes for precipitated protons and electrons. We describe a method to calculate ionospheric Hall and Pedersen conductivities induced by auroral proton and electron ionization based on a model of interaction of auroral particles with the atmosphere. Different assumptions on the energy spectral distribution for electrons and protons are compared. Global maps of ionospheric conductances due to instantaneous observation of precipitating protons are calculated. The contribution of auroral protons in the total conductance induced by both types of auroral particles is also evaluated and the importance of proton precipitation is evaluated. This method is well adapted to analyze the time evolution of ionospheric conductances due to precipitating particles over the auroral region or in particular sectors. Results are illustrated with conductance maps of the north polar region obtained during four periods with different activity levels. It is found that the proton contribution to conductance is relatively higher during quiet periods than during substorms. The proton contribution is higher in the period before the onset and strongly decreases during the expansion phase of substorms. During a substorm which occurred on 28 April 2001, a region of strong proton precipitation is observed with SI12 around 14:00MLT at ~75° MLAT. Calculation of conductances in this sector shows that neglecting the protons contribution would produce a large error. We discuss possible effects of the proton precipitation on electron precipitation in auroral arcs. The increase in the ionospheric conductivity, induced by a former proton precipitation can reduce the potential drop along field lines in the upward field-aligned currents by creating an opposite polarization electric field. This feedback mechanism possibly reduces the electron acceleration.

Key words. Ionosphere (auroral ionosphere; ionospheremagnetosphere interactions; particle precipitation)

Publications Copernicus