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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-56
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-56
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  24 Aug 2020

24 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Electron precipitation characteristics during isolated, compound and multi-night substorm events

Noora Partamies1,2, Fasil Tesema1,2, Emma Bland1, Erkka Heino1, Hilde Nesse Tyssøy2, and Erlend Kallelid3,1 Noora Partamies et al.
  • 1The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Norway
  • 2Birkeland Centre for Space Science, University of Bergen, Norway
  • 3Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway

Abstract. A set of 24 isolated, 46 compound and 36 multi-night substorm events from the years 2008–2013 have been analysed in this study. Isolated substorm events are defined as single expansion-recovery phase pairs, compound substorms consist of multiple phase pairs, and multi-night substorm events refer to recurring substorm activity on consecutive nights. Approximately 200 nights of substorm activity observed over the Fennoscandian Lapland have been analysed for their magnetic disturbance magnitude and the level of cosmic radio noise absorption. Substorm events were automatically detected from the local electrojet index data and visually categorised.

We show that isolated substorms have limited lifetimes and spatial extents, as compared to the other substorm types. The average intensity (both in absorption and ground-magnetic deflection) of compound and multi-night substorm events is similar. For multi-night substorm events, the first night is rarely associated with the strongest absorption. Instead, the high-energy electron population needed to cause the strongest absorption builds up over 1–2 additional nights of substorm activity. The non-linear relationship between the absorption and the magnetic deflection at high and low activity conditions is also discussed. We further collect in-situ particle spectra for expansion and recovery phases to construct median precipitation fluxes at energies from 30 eV up to about 800 keV. In the expansion phases the bulk of the spectra shows a local maximum flux in the range of a few keV to 10 keV, while in the recovery phases higher fluxes are seen in the range of tens of keV to hundreds of keV. These findings are discussed in the light of earlier observations of substorm precipitation and their atmospheric effects.

Noora Partamies et al.

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Noora Partamies et al.

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