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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 23, issue 10
Ann. Geophys., 23, 3267–3276, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-3267-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 23, 3267–3276, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-3267-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  30 Nov 2005

30 Nov 2005

On the relations between proton influx and D-region electron densities during the polar-cap absorption event of 28-29 October 2003

J. K. Hargreaves1,2 and M. J. Birch2,3 J. K. Hargreaves and M. J. Birch
  • 1Department of Communication Systems, University of Lancaster, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4WA, UK
  • 2Centre for Astrophysics, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK
  • 3Department of Computing, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK

Abstract. Observations by incoherent-scatter radar have been applied to explore relationships between the fluxes of incident protons and the resulting D-region electron densities during a polar-cap radio-absorption event. Using proton flux data from a GOES geosynchronous satellite, the energy band having the greatest influence at a selected height is estimated by a process of trial and error, and empirical relationships are defined. The height profiles of the effective recombination coefficient are determined for day and night, and the transition over the evening twilight is investigated for the height range 60-70 km.

The results show that the day-night change is confined to heights below 80 km, night-time values at the lower levels being consistent with a balance between negative ions and electrons controlled by 3-body attachment and collisional detachment. The daytime results confirm that, contrary to the prediction of some chemical models, a square-law continuity equation may be strictly applied. It is confirmed that, as previously reported, the timing of the sunset change varies with altitude.

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