Longitudinal and Hemispheric Variations of Nighttime E-Layer Electron Density in the Auroral Zone

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Xiaoli Luan1, Wenbin Wang2, Xiankang Dou1, Alan Geoffrey Burns2 and Xinan Yue3, (1)USTC University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China, (2)NCAR, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)UCAR, Boulder, CO, United States
The longitudinal patterns of nighttime E layer electron density in the auroral zone are analyzed in both hemispheres using COSMIC observation under quiet and solar minimum conditions. These l patterns are compared with the variations of particle precipitating energy flux from TIMED/GUVI under similar geophysical conditions, and also the solar radiation source of the auroral E layer are discussed. Our main conclusions are: (1) the nighttime maximum E-layer electron density presents pronounced longitudinal variations in the auroral zone, which depends on seasons and hemispheres. In local winter of both hemispheres and in northern equinox, maximum electron density is located in most western sectors within magnetic longitudes of 120-360°E. In local summer of both hemispheres and in southern equinox, greater the electron density occurs in a wide longitudinal sector centered at 0°E. (2) Hemispheric asymmetry occurs in auroral E layer electron density in all seasons, including equinox. In local winter, the maximum density of the northern hemisphere is much higher than that of southern hemisphere. In equinox, the longitudinal patterns of the electron density are out of phase between the two hemispheres. (3) The effects of the auroral precipitation are dominant in building the E layer electron density in the auroral zone for all seasons, except in southern summer in sector of 300-90°E MLON, where strong solar radiation takes place.