Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) intermediate -resolution observations of S III, Si III, Al III, Si IV, C IV, and N V absorption along the sight lines to HD 18100 (l = 217.9 deg, b = -62.7, d = 3.1 kpc, z = -2.8 kpc) and HD 100340 (l = 258.9 deg, b = +61.2 deg, d = 5.3 kpc, z = 4.6 kpc) are presented. These small science aperture spectra have resolutions ranging from 11 to 20 km/s full width at half maximum (FWHM) and S/N from 30 to 65 per diode substep. Strong absorption by moderately and highly ionized gas is seen in each direction. The absorption in the direction of the south Galactic polar region (HD 18100) is kinematically simple, while the absorption in the direction of north Galactic polar region (HD 100304) is kinematically complex. In each case the absorption by the highly ionized gas lies within the velocity range of absorption by neutral and weakly ionized gas. Along each sight line, the velocity dispersion determined from the unsaturated absorption lines increases with the energy required to create each ion. The logarithmic column densities for Al III, Si IV, C IV, and N V are log N(atoms/sq cm = 12.71, 13.10, 13.58, and 12.75 toward HD 18100 and log N = 12.88, 13.31, 13.83, and 13.04 toward HD 100340. Average ionic ratios among these species are very similar along the two sight lines. Differences in profile shape between the absorption for AL II, Si IV, C IV, and N V provide additional support for the claim of Savage, Sembach, & Cardelli (1994) that there exists two types of highly ionized gas in the interstellar medium. One type of highly ionized gas is responsible for the structured Si IV absorption and part of the C IV absorption. In this gas N(C IV)/N(Si IV) approximately 3.0 and N(C IV)/N(N V) greater than 6. The absorption by this gas seems to be associated with some type of self-regulating interface or mixing layer between the warm and hot interstellar medium. The other type of highly ionized gas is responsible for most of the N V absorption, part of the C IV absorption, and has very little associated Si IV absorption. In this gas N(C IV)/N(N V) is approximately 1 to 3. This gas is hot (T greater than 2 x 10(exp 5) K) and may be tracing the cooling gas of supernova (SN) bubbles or a Galactic fountain. The relative mixture of these two types of highly ionized gas varies from one sight line to the next. The two sight lines in this study sample halo gas in the solar neighborhood and have a smaller percentage of the more highly ionized gas than inner Galaxy sight lines.
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X); 434; 1; p. 145-161