University of Oulu

Susanna Pätsi, Alexander Mishev, Ionization effect in the Earth’s atmosphere due to cosmic rays during the GLE # 71 on 17 May 2012, Advances in Space Research, Volume 69, Issue 7, 2022, Pages 2893-2901, ISSN 0273-1177,

Ionization effect in the Earth’s atmosphere due to cosmic rays during the GLE # 71 on 17 May 2012

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Author: Pätsi, Susanna1; Mishev, Alexander2,3
Organizations: 1Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-04-26


Nowadays the systematic study of the possible effect of precipitating high-energy particles on atmospheric physics and chemistry is in great expansion. Most of the recent models studying the precipitating energetic particles effects in the Earth’s atmosphere are based on reliable quantification of the induced ionization, that is, the cosmic ray impact ionization, which is extensively studied over the last decade. While the galactic cosmic rays are the main source of ionization in the Earth’s stratosphere and troposphere, the energetic particles of solar origin can significantly enhance the ion production following strong solar eruptions, specifically over the polar caps. A particular interest represents solar protons observed by ground-based detectors, viz. the so-called ground level enhancements (GLE), observed as an increase of the count rate of e.g. neutron monitors. Here, employing 3-D Monte Carlo model, we computed the solar protons induced atmospheric ionization during the moderate GLE # 71 on 17 May 2012. The ion production rates were computed during various stages of the event as a function of the altitude above sea level using derived by verified model particles spectra. The 24 h averaged ionization effect relative to the average due to the galactic cosmic rays was computed at several depths in the atmosphere.

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Series: Advances in space research
ISSN: 0273-1177
ISSN-E: 1879-1948
ISSN-L: 0273-1177
Volume: 69
Issue: 7
Pages: 2893 - 2901
DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2022.02.008
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (projects 330064 QUASARE, 321882 ESPERA).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 330064
Detailed Information: 330064 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
321882 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (