The Earth's Ionosphere

Plasma Physics & Electrodynamics


  • Michael Kelley, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Although interesting in its own right, due to the ever-increasing use of satellites for communication and navigation, weather in the ionosphere is of great concern. Every such system uses trans-ionospheric propagation of radio waves, waves which must traverse the commonly turbulent ionosphere. Understanding this turbulence and predicting it are one of the major goals of the National Space Weather program. Acquiring such a prediction capability will rest on understanding the very topics of this book, the plasma physics and electrodynamics of the system.
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Researchers, students, and professionals. Appropriate for use in academic courses and professional development courses.


Book information

  • Published: May 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-088425-4

Table of Contents

Table of ContentsPrefaceChapter 1 Introductory and Background Material1.1 Scope and Goals of the Text1.1.1 Historical Perspective1.1.2 Organization and Limitations1.2 Structure of the Neutral Atmosphere and the Main Ionosphere1.3 D-Region Fundamentals1.4 The Earth's Magnetic Field and Magnetosphere1.5 Problem SetReferencesChapter 2 Fundamentals of Ionospheric and Magnetospheric Plasma Dynamics2.1 The Basic Fluid Equations2.1.1 Conservation of Mass2.1.2 Equation of State2.1.3 Momentum Equation for the Neutral Fluid2.1.4 Momentum Equations for the Plasma2.1.5 The Complete Equation Sets2.2 Steady-State Ionospheric Plasma Motions Due to Applied Forces2.3 Generation of Electric Fields2.4 Electric Field Mapping2.5 Elements of Magnetospheric Physics2.5.1 The Guiding Center Equations and the Adiabatic Invariants2.5.2 Magnetohydrodynamics2.6 Are Ionospheric Electric Fields Real?2.7 Coordinate Systems2.8 Problem SetReferencesChapter 3 Dynamics and Electrodynamics of the Equatorial Zone3.1 Motions of the Equatorial F Region: The Data Base3.2 The Equatorial F-Region Dynamo3.3 E-Region Dynamo Theory and the Daytime Equatorial Electrojet3.4 Further Complexities of Equatorial Electrodynamics3.4.1 The Prereversal Enhancement3.4.2 High-Latitude Effects on the Equatorial Electric Field3.5 Feedback Between the Electrodynamics and Thermospheric Winds3.6 Mesospheric and Lower Thermospheric Dynamics3.6.1 Atmospheric Winds in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere3.6.2 A Primer on Turbulence and the Turbopause3.7 Problem SetReferencesChapter 4 Equatorial Plasma Instabilities and Mesospheric Turbulence4.1 F-Region Plasma Instabilities: Observations4.2 Development and Initiation of Convective Ionospheric Storms (a.k.a. Equatorial Spread F)4.2.1 Linear Theory of the Rayleigh-Taylor Instability4.2.2 The Generalized Rayleigh-Taylor Process: Electric Fields, Neutral Winds, andHorizontal Gradients4.2.3 The Seeding of Convective Ionospheric Storms by Gravity Waves4.2.4 Role of Velocity Shear in Convective Ionospheric Storms4.2.5 Summary of Linear Theory Results4.3 Nonlinear Theories of Convective Ionospheric Storms4.3.1 Two-Dimensional Computer Simulations4.3.2 Simulations Including Seeding and Shear4.3.3 Summary of Nonlinear Theory Results4.4 Linkage of Large and Small Scales in CEIS4.4.1 Evidence for a Diffusive Subrange4.4.2 The Diffusive Subrange4.4.3 Toward a Unified Theory for the Convective Ionospheric Storm Spectrum4.5 Convective Ionospheric Storms Summary4.6 E-Region Plasma Instabilities: The Observational Data Base4.7 Linear Theories of Electrojet Instabilities4.8 Nonlinear Theories of Electrojet Instabilities4.8.1 Two-Step Theories for Secondary Waves4.8.2 On the Observations that the Phase Velocity of Type I Equatorial Waves isIndependent of Angle4.8.3 Nonlinear Gradient Drift Theories4.8.4 Nonlinear Studies of Farley-Buneman (FB) Waves4.9 D-Region Turbulence4.10 Future Directions4.11 Problem SetReferencesChapter 5 Hydro- and Electro-dynamics of The Mid-Latitude Ionosphere5.1 Introduction to the Tropical and Mid-Latitude Ionospheres5.1.1 Background Material5.1.2 On the Height of the Daytime F2 Layer5.1.3 Equations Including Vertical Flux Without Winds or Electric Fields5.1.4 F-Layer Solutions with Production, Diffusion, and Flux5.1.5 More General Nighttime Solutions5.1.6 The Appleton Anomaly: An Equatorial Electric Field Effect5.1.7 The Corotation Electric Field and Formation of the Plasmasphere5.2 Electric Fields in the Tropical and Mid-Latitude Zone5.2.1 Electric Field Measurements5.2.2 Neutral Wind Effects5.2.3 Combined Effects of Electric Fields and Neutral Winds5.2.4 Complexities of the Real Nighttime Tropical Ionosphere5.2.5 The Transition Zone between Mid and High Latitudes5.3 Mid-Latitude Lower Thermosphere Dynamics5.3.1 Tidal Effects5.3.2 Wind Profiles5.4 Problem SetReferencesChapter 6 Waves and Instabilities at Mid-Latitudes6.1 Mesoscale Vertical Organization of Ionospheric Plasma: General Considerations6.2 Oscillations of the Neutral Atmosphere6.3 Role of Gravity Waves and Tides in Creating Vertical Ionospheric Structure6.4 Effects of Particle Precipitation at Mid-Latitudes6.5 Horizontal Structure in the Midlatitude Ionosphere6.6 Mid-Latitude F-Region Plasma Instabilities6.6.1 F-Region Plasma Instabilities in the Equatorial Anomaly (Equatorial Arc) Region6.6.2 Local Mid-Latitude F-Region Plasma Instabilities: A New Process6.6.3 Linear Theory for the Perkins Instability6.7 Mid-Latitude E-Region Instabilities6.7.1 Radiowave Observations of Nighttime Mid-Latitude E-Region Instabilities6.7.2 The Wavelength Limiting Effect6.7.3 Multi-Experimental Observations of Mid-Latitude Structures6.7.4 Mid-Latitude E-Region Instabilities: Difficulties with Simple Explanations6.7.5 The Effect of a Wind Shear: The Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability as a Source ofQ-P Echoes6.7.6 The Role of Horizontal Structure: Amplification by the Cowling Effect6.7.7 Spontaneous Structuring by the Es Layer Instability6.7.8 Coupling of Es Layers and the F Layer6.7.9 The Wavelength Limiting Effect and Small-Scale Instabilities6.7.10 Wind-Driven Thermal Instabilities6.8 Problem SetReferencesChapter 7 Dynamics and Electrodynamics of the Mesosphere7.1 Noctilucent Clouds (NLC) and the Temperature Anomaly7.2 Gravity Wave Breaking7.3 The Polar Summer Mesosphere: A Wave-Driven Refrigerator7.4 New Observations of NLC and Related Phenomena7.5 Polar Mesosphere Summer Echoes (PMSE)7.6 The Role of Charged Ice7.7 On the Possible Relationship Between PMSE, NLC, and Atmospheric Change7.8 Upward-Propagating Lightning7.9 Nonlinear Mesospheric Waves7.9.1 Observations7.9.2 Analogy to a Hydrolic Jump7.9.3 Nonlinear Simulation of Mesospheric Bores7.10 Problem SetReferencesChapter 8 High-Latitude Electrodynamics8.1 Electrical Coupling between the Ionosphere, Magnetosphere, and Solar Wind8.1.1 General Relationships8.1.2 A Qualitative Description for Southward IMF8.1.3 Energy Transfer8.1.4 Additional Complexities8.2 Observations of Ionospheric Convection8.2.1 Observations during Southward IMF8.2.2 Observations during Northward IMF8.3 Simple Models of Convection in the Magnetosphere8.3.1 Models for Southward IMF8.3.2 Models for Northward IMF8.4 Empirical and Analytic Representations of High-Latitude Convection8.5 Observations of Field-Aligned Currents8.5.1 Current Patterns for a Southward IMF8.5.2 Current Patterns for a Northward IMF8.5.3 Dependence on Magnetic Activity, IMF, and Season8.6 Horizontal Currents at High Latitudes8.7 Problem SetReferencesChapter 9 Ionospheric Response to Electric Fields9.1Ionospheric Effects of Parallel Plasma Dynamics9.1.1 Ionospheric Composition at High Latitudes9.1.2 Hydrodynamic Theory of the Polar Wind9.2 Ionospheric Effects of Perpendicular Plasma Dynamics9.2.1 The Role of Horizontal Transport9.2.2 Ion Heating Due to Collisions9.2.3 Velocity-Dependent Recombination9.2.4 Positive and Negative Ionospheric Storms9.3 Electrodynamic Forcing of the Neutral Atmosphere9.3.1 J×B Forcing9.3.2 Global Observations and Simulations9.4 Particle Acceleration in the Topside Ionosphere9.4.1 Parallel Electric Fields in the Upper Ionosphere9.4.2 Ion Outflows and Perpendicular Ion Acceleration9.5 Summary9.6 Problem SetReferencesChapter 10 Instabilities and Structure in the High-Latitude Ionosphere10.1 Planetary and Large-Scale Structures in the High-Latitude F Region10.1.1 Convection and Production as Sources of Planetary Scale Structure in the High-Latitude lonosphere10.1.2 Some Effects of Plasma Transport and Loss on the Large-Scale HorizontalStructure of the Ionosphere10.1.3 Longitudinal Structures due to Localized Sub-Auroral Electric Fields10.1.4 Temperature Enhancements in the Trough and Stable Auroral Red Arcs10.1.5 Horizontal Plasma Variations Due to Localized Plasma Production and Heating10.1.6 Summary10.2 Intermediate-Scale Structure in the High-Latitude F Region10.2.1 The Generalized E×B lnstability at High Latitudes10.2.2 Turbulent Mixing as an Alternative to Plasma Instabilities10.2.3 Diffusion and lmage Formation10.3 Small-Scale Waves in the High-Latitude F Region10.4 E-Region Layering at High Latitudes10.5 Plasma Waves and Irregularities in the High-Latitude E Region: Observations10.5.1 Radar Observations10.5.2 Rocket Observations of Auroral Electrojet Instabilities10.5.3 Simultaneous Data Sets10.5.4 Summary10.6 Linear Auroral Electrojet Wave Theories10.6.1 The Gradient Drift Instability10.6.2 The Two-Stream Instability and Type 4 Radar Echoes10.6.3 Type 3 Radar Echoes: Are They Due to Ion Cyclotron Waves?10.6.4 Nonlinear Theories10.7 Summary10.8 Problem SetReferencesAppendix A Ionospheric Measurement TechniquesA.1 Radio Wave Techniques in Ionospheric PhysicsA.1.1. Incoherent Scatter RadarsA.1.2 Coherent Scatter RadarsA.1.3 Scintillation TechniquesA.2 Optical MethodsA.2.1 AirglowA.2.1.1 The 557.7 nm EmissionA.2.1.2 The NIR OH Broadband EmissionA.2.1.3 The 630.0 nm EmissionA.2.1.4 Oxygen Recombination LinesA.2.2 LidarA.2.2.1 Fabry-Pérot Interferometery Thermospheric/Ionospheric MeasurementsA.2.2.2 Particulars of the FPIA.2.2.3 An Example of a Contemporary FPIA.3 In Situ MeasurementsA.3.1 Langmuir Probes, Retarding Potential Analyses, and Drift MetersA.3.1.1 Electron Temperature Measurements-the Langmuir ProbeA.3.1.2 Ion Temperature and Density Measurements—the Retarding PotentialAnalyzerA.3.1.3 Ion Drift Velocity Measurements—the Ion Drift MeterA.3.1.4 Ion Composition Measurements-the Mass SpectrometerA.3.2 Electric Current, Measurements—the Fluxgate MagnetometerA.3.2.1 Other Current Measurement TechnologyA.3.3 Double-Probe Electric Field DetectorsA.3.4 Electrostatic Wave MeasurementsA.3.5 Barium Ion Cloud MeasurementsReferencesAppendix B Reference Material and EquationsB.1 Atmospheric and Ionospheric StructureB.2 Miscellaneous FormulasB.3 Surface Magnetic Field Measurements and Magnetic Activity IndicesB.4 Websites of InterestReferences