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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 24, issue 7
Ann. Geophys., 24, 1887–1904, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-1887-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 24, 1887–1904, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-1887-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  09 Aug 2006

09 Aug 2006

Characteristics of night-time absorption spike events

A. Aminaei1, F. Honary1, A. J. Kavanagh1, E. Spanswick2, and A. Viljanen3 A. Aminaei et al.
  • 1Department of Communications Systems, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  • 3Space Research Unit, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Sudden increases in cosmic radio noise absorption, known as spike events, have been identified as signatures of substorms in the previous studies. Using data from the IRIS (Imaging Riometer for Ionospheric Studies) at Kilpisjärvi, Finland (L~6) more than 450 night-time spike events between 1994 and 2003 have been identified. Spike events fall into four distinct categories based on their structure and the background magnetic activity as indicated by a local westward electrojet (IL index) derived from the IMAGE (International Monitor for Auroral Geomagnetic Effects) magnetometer network as well as Pi2 magnetic pulsations from SAMNET (The UK Sub-Auroral Magnetometer Network). Classifying the types of absorption spikes allows for identification of phenomena such as multiple onsets and pseudobreakups from riometer data. In addition we have studied the statistical variation of absorption spikes and their sub-classes. This includes examining the magnetic local time (MLT) distribution and the seasonal and solar-cycle variation in spike occurrence.

Those that seem to represent substorm onsets show a decidedly different MLT variation to those isolated spikes that represent pseudobreakups. The occurrence of spikes during different levels of geomagnetic activity is examined using the Kp index.

Wavelet analysis has been used for studying the temporal structure of spikes; also the direction of motion of spike events and localisation of spikes are presented for all events and each sub-class and results are compared with previous studies.

Statistical studies are supported with X-ray images of aurora from PIXIE (The Polar Ionospheric X-ray Imaging Experiment) when available.

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