• A self-consistent time varying auroral model

      Min, Qilong; Rees, M. H.; Kan, J. R.; Lummerzheim, D.; Piacenza, R.; Stamnes, K. (1993)
      A time dependent model of auroral processes has been developed by self-consistently solving the electron transport equation, the ion continuity equations and the electron and ion energy equations. It is used to study the response of ionospheric and atmospheric properties in regions subjected to electron bombardment. The time history of precipitation events is computed for a variety of electron spectral energy distributions and flux magnitudes. Examples of daytime and night-time aurorae are presented. Precipitating energetic auroral electrons heat the ambient electrons and ions as well as enhancing the ionization rate which increases the ion concentration. The consequences of electric field acceleration and an inhomogeneous magnetic field in auroral electron transport in the topside ionosphere are investigated. Substantial perturbations of the low energy portion of the electron flux are produced: An upward directed electric field accelerates the downward directed flux of low energy secondary electrons and decelerates the upward directed component. Above about 400 km the inhomogeneous magnetic field produces anisotropies in the angular distribution of the electron flux. The effects of the perturbed energy distributions on auroral spectral emission features and on the electron temperature are noted. The response of the Hall and Pederson conductivities to auroral electron precipitation is discussed as a function of the characteristic energy of the spectral distribution.