Detection of lower tropospheric responses to solar energetic particles at midlatitudes

K. A. Nicoll, R. G. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Solar energetic particles (SEPs) occasionally contribute additional atmospheric ionization beyond that arising from the usual galactic cosmic ray background. During an SEP event associated with a solar flare on April 11, 2013, the vertical ionization rate profile obtained using a balloon-borne detector showed enhanced ionization with a 26% increase at 20 km, over Reading, United Kingdom. Fluctuations in atmospheric electrical parameters were also detected at the surface, beneath the balloon's trajectory. As no coincident changes in geomagnetism occurred, the electrical fluctuations are very likely to be associated with increased ionization, as observed by the balloon measurements. The lack of response of surface neutron monitors during this event indicates that energetic particles that are not detected at the surface by neutron monitors can nevertheless enter and influence the atmosphere's weather-generating regions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number225001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume112
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

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temperate regions
balloons
energetic particles
ionization
monitors
atmospheric ionization
neutrons
United Kingdom
geomagnetism
solar flares
weather
trajectories
atmospheres
detectors
profiles

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Detection of lower tropospheric responses to solar energetic particles at midlatitudes. / Nicoll, K. A.; Harrison, R. G.

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 112, No. 22, 225001, 01.06.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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