Articles | Volume 25, issue 8
29 Aug 2007
 | 29 Aug 2007

D- and E-region effects in the auroral zone during a moderately active 24-h period in July 2005

J. K. Hargreaves, M. J. Birch, and B. J. I. Bromage

Abstract. The effects of energetic electron precipitation into the auroral region at a time of enhanced solar wind have been investigated during a continuous period of 24 h, using the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) radar, an imaging riometer, and particle measurements on an orbiting satellite. The relative effects in the E region (120 km) and D region (90 km) are found to vary during the day, consistent with a gradual hardening of the incoming electron spectrum from pre-midnight to morning. Whereas the night spectra are single peaked, the daytime spectra are found to be double peaked, suggesting the presence of two distinct populations.

A comparison between the radiowave absorption observed with the riometer and values estimated from the radar data shows generally good agreement, but with some discrepancies suggesting the occurrence of some small-scale features. The height and thickness of the absorbing region are estimated. Two periods of enhanced precipitation and the related radio absorption, one near magnetic midnight and one in the early morning, are studied in detail, including their horizontal structure and movement of the absorption patches.

A sharp reduction of electron flux recorded on a POES satellite is related to the edge of an absorption region delineated by the imaging riometer. The observed particle flux is compared with a value deduced from the radar data during the overpass, and found to be in general agreement.