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Ionospheric origin of magnetospheric O+ ions

Lockwood, M. ORCID: and Titheridge, J. E. (1981) Ionospheric origin of magnetospheric O+ ions. Geophysical Research Letters, 8 (4). pp. 381-384. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/GL008i004p00381


Flows of thermal atomic oxygen (O+) ions are deduced from topside ionospheric plasma density profiles. The mean flux within most of the polar cap is of the order of 10^12 m^{−2} s^{−1}, a figure which is consistent with both theoretical and experimental estimates of the light ion polar wind at greater altitudes. Larger flows (up to 6 × 10^12 m^{−2} s^{−1}) are observed near the poleward edge of the night-side statistical auroral oval, a feature not reproduced in the light ion flux. The implication is one of a low altitude acceleration mechanism, acting upon the O+ ions at these latitudes and at heights above that at which the fluxes are observed. Such a process would enable ions to escape from the ionosphere because they do not exchange charge with neutral hydrogen. The observations are in general agreement with energetic O+ ions as previously observed in various parts of the magnetosphere.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:38929
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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