Thermal ion flows in the topside auroral ionosphere and the effects of low-altitude, transverse acceleration
Lockwood, M. (1982) Thermal ion flows in the topside auroral ionosphere and the effects of low-altitude, transverse acceleration. Planetary and Space Science, 30 (6). pp. 595-609. ISSN 0032-0633
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/0032-0633(82)90168-4
Topside ionospheric profiles are used to study the upward field-aligned flow of thermal O+ at high latitudes. On the majority of the field lines outside the plasmasphere, the mean flux is approximately equal to the mean polar wind measured by spacecraft at greater altitudes. This is consistent with the theory of thermal light ion escape supported, via charge exchange, by upward O+ flow at lower heights. Events of larger O+ flow are detected at auroral latitudes and their occurrence is found to agree with that of transversely accelerated ions within the topside ionosphere and the magnetosphere. The effects of low altitude heating of O+ by oxygen cyclotron waves, driven by downward field-aligned currents, are considered as a possible common cause of these two types of event.