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Quiet Night Arctic Ionospheric D Region Characteristics
Responsible organisation
2021 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 126, no 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

VLF radio propagation recordings are used to determine the characteristics of the nighttime polar lower D region of the ionosphere. Recordings of both VLF phase and amplitude in the Arctic on days within ∼1–2 weeks of the equinoxes enable their day-to-night changes to be determined. These changes are then combined with previously measured daytime polar D region characteristics to find the nighttime characteristics. The previously determined daytime characteristics were measured in the Arctic summer; the NRLMSISE atmosphere model is used to help determine the height change from daytime summer to daytime equinox (∼5 km lower). The principal path used was from the 16.4 kHz Norwegian transmitter JXN (67°N, 14°E) 1,334 km northwards across the Arctic Ocean to Ny-Ålesund (79°N, 12°E), Svalbard. Also used were the 2,014-km path from NRK (37.5 kHz, Grindavik, 64°N, Iceland) to Ny-Ålesund, the 1,655-km path from JXN to Reykjavik (64°N, Iceland), and the 5,302-km path from JXN across the Arctic Ocean to Fairbanks (65°N) in Alaska. The night values of (the Wait parameters) H′ and β were found to average from ∼79 km at equinox down to 77 km near winter solstice (lower than the 85 km at low and midlatitudes by ∼7 km) and 0.6 km−1, respectively. This lower height and its variability are shown to be consistent with the principal source of ionization being energetic electron precipitation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd , 2021. Vol. 126, no 4
Keywords [en]
energetic electron precipitation, galactic cosmic rays, geocoronal Lyman-alpha, polar night D-region electron density, polar night D-region height and sharpness, VLF propagation
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8843DOI: 10.1029/2020JA029043OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8843DiVA, id: diva2:1625742
Available from: 2022-01-09 Created: 2022-01-09 Last updated: 2022-01-09Bibliographically approved

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