The Earth’s Electric Field provides you with an integrated and comprehensive picture of the generation of the terrestrial electric fields, their dynamics and how they couple/propagate through the medium. The Earth’s Electric Field provides basic principles of terrestrial electric field related topics, but also a critical summary of electric field related observations and their significance to the various related phenomena in the atmosphere. For the first time, Kelley brings together information on this topic in a coherent way, making it easy to gain a broad overview of the critical processes in an efficient way. If you conduct research in atmospheric science, physics, atmospheric chemistry, space plasma physics, and solar terrestrial physics, you will find this book to be essential reading.

Key Features

  • The only book on the physics of terrestrial electric fields and their generation mechanisms, propagation and dynamics–making it essential reading for scientists conducting research in upper atmospheric, ionospheric, magnetospheric and space weather
  • Covers the processes related to electric field generation and electric field coupling in the upper atmosphere along with providing new insights about electric fields generated by sources from sun to mud
  • Focuses on real-world implications—covering topics such as space weather, earthquakes, the effect on power grids, and the effect on GPS and communication devices


Atmospheric scientists and researchers specializing in atmospheric physics

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Electric Field Generation Mechanisms
    • Abstract
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Visual Effects of Electrical Phenomena
    • 1.3 Generation of Electric Fields
    • 1.4 Relativistic Effects
    • 1.5 Electric Field Mapping
    • 1.6 An Energy Theorem
    • 1.7 Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 2. Atmospheric Electricity
    • Abstract
    • 2.1 The Fair Weather Electric Field
    • 2.2 Introduction to Cloud Charging
    • 2.3 The Lightning Discharge
    • 2.4 Radiation from Lightning
    • 2.5 Coupling to the Ionosphere
    • 2.6 Red Sprites, Elves, and the Jets
    • 2.7 Mapping of Magnetospheric DC Electric Fields to the Stratosphere
    • References
  • Chapter 3. Collisionless Hydrodynamic Generators in a Planetary Atmosphere
    • Abstract
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Collisional Hydrodynamic Generation of Electric Fields
    • 3.3 The Hydromagnetic Generator Source: The Restless Atmosphere
    • 3.4 Wave Generation of Electric Fields
    • References
  • Chapter 4. Electric Fields Generated by Solar Wind Interaction with the Magnetosphere
    • Abstract
    • 4.1 Connection Between the IMF and the Earth’s Magnetic Field for Bz South
    • 4.2 What Happens if Bz Is Positive?
    • 4.3 Penetration of Solar Wind Electric Fields Throughout the Inner Magnetosphere
    • References
  • Chapter 5. The Earth’s Magnetosphere: A Secondary Collisionless Magnetohydrodynamic Generator
    • Abstract
    • 5.1 Earth’s Rotation as an Electric Field Generator
    • 5.2 Magnetohydromagnetic Electric Field Generation Inside the Magnetosphere
    • 5.3 The Source of Region 2 Currents
    • 5.4 Penetration of High-Latitude Electric Fields to Low Latitudes


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© 2014
Elsevier Science
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"It presents a comprehensive introduction to the complex subject of the electrical interaction between the earth and its surrounding space environment and should serve as a good introduction to this subject for advanced geophysics undergraduates or beginning graduate students."--The Leading Edge, June 2014