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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 23, issue 6
Ann. Geophys., 23, 2081–2094, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-2081-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 23, 2081–2094, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-2081-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  15 Sep 2005

15 Sep 2005

The effect of E-region wave heating on electrodynamical structures

J.-M. A. Noël1, J.-P. St.-Maurice2, and P.-L. Blelly3 J.-M. A. Noël et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, The University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 3Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement, Orléans, France

Abstract. We show that heating by large amplitude E-region plasma waves at high latitudes can at times substantially enhance the electro-dynamical response of the ionosphere. This is made manifest through an increase in parallel current densities and parallel electric fields generated at the edge of arcs in the E and lower F-region of the ionosphere, in response to sharp cutoffs in precipitation with an otherwise uniform differential energy flux. The enhancement is rooted in a reduction in electron recombination that occurs in response to higher electron temperatures triggered by the generation of strong electric fields near the edge of the arc. The reduced recombination rate, in turn, leads to enhanced conductivity gradients near the edge of the arc, which, in turn, drives more intense parallel currents and stronger local electric fields.

Keywords. Ionosphere (Electric fields and curents; Plasma temperature and density) – Space plasma physics (Numerical simulation studies)

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