Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae An open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ann. Geophys., 25, 1199-1214, 2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
04 Jun 2007
Energetic electron precipitation during sawtooth injections
A. J. Kavanagh1,*, G. Lu1, E. F. Donovan2, G. D. Reeves3, F. Honary4, J. Manninen5, and T. J. Immel6 1High Altitude Observatory (HAO), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO, 80307-3000, USA
2University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
3Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA
4Department of Communication Systems, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
5Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Tähteläntie 62, 99600 Sodankylä, Finland
6University of California at Berkeley, Space Science Lab, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
*now at: Department of Communication Systems, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
Abstract. We present simultaneous riometer observations of cosmic noise absorption in the nightside and dawn-noon sectors during sawtooth particle injections during 18 April 2002. Energetic electron precipitation (>30 keV) is a feature of magnetospheric substorms and cosmic radio noise absorption acts as a proxy for qualitatively measuring this precipitation. This event provides an opportunity to compare the absorption that accompanies periodic electron injections with the accepted paradigm of substorm-related absorption. We consider whether the absorption is consistent with the premise that these injections are quasi-periodic substorms and study the effects of sustained activity on the level of precipitation. Four consecutive electron injection events have been identified from the LANL (Los Alamos National Laboratory) geosynchronous data; the first two showing that additional activity can occur within the 2–4 h sawtooth periodicity. The first three events have accompanying absorption on the nightside that demonstrate good agreement with the expected pattern of substorm-absorption: discrete spike events with poleward motion at the onset followed by equatorward moving structures and more diffuse absorption, correlated with optical observations. Dayside absorption is linked to gradient-curvature drifting electrons observed at geostationary orbit and it is shown that low fluxes can lead to a lack of absorption as precipitation is suppressed; precipitation begins when the drifting electron flux surpasses some critical level following continuous injections of electrons from the magnetotail. In addition it is shown that the apparent motion of absorption determined from an azimuthal chain of riometers exhibits an acceleration that may be indicative of an energisation of the drifting electron population.

Citation: Kavanagh, A. J., Lu, G., Donovan, E. F., Reeves, G. D., Honary, F., Manninen, J., and Immel, T. J.: Energetic electron precipitation during sawtooth injections, Ann. Geophys., 25, 1199-1214,, 2007.
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