The University of Bern Atmospheric Ion Model: Time-dependent modeling of the ions in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere

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Abstract

[1] In this paper the first time-dependent model of ion chemistry in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere (MLT) region acting within a global, time-dependent, two-dimensional neutral atmosphere model is described. Selected diurnal results are presented for undisturbed solar minimum conditions. The University of Bern Atmospheric Ion Model (UBAIM) is a time-dependent, pseudo-two-dimensional model of the ion chemistry in the Earth atmosphere. It covers latitudes from 85°S to 85°N and (log-pressure) altitudes from 20 to 120 km. On this grid a system of differential equations describing the ion chemistry is integrated numerically until a periodical solution, governed by the diurnal changes in the incident radiation, is reached; this solution constitutes a model for quiet or undisturbed conditions. The basic ion chemistry of the UBAIM contains 311 reactions for 71 charged species. Ionization sources are solar X-ray and EUV radiation, resonantly scattered Lyman α and β photons, and galactic cosmic rays. Densities of main and trace neutral atmospheric constituents are taken from a new version of the bidimensional NCAR model SOCRATES, which has been specifically optimized for mesospheric and lower thermospheric processes with upper boundary conditions set using the empirical MSIS thermosphere model. Direct solar flux inputs are computed by the SOLAR2000 model; scattered Lyman α and β fluxes are calculated using geocoronal hydrogen density profiles consistent with the adopted MSIS density distributions.

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