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Earth's ion upflow associated with polar cap patches: global and in-situ observations

Zhang, Q.-H., Zong, Q.-G., Lockwood, M. ORCID:, Heelis, R. A., Hairston, M., Liang, J., McCrea, I., Zhang, B.-C., Moen, J., Zhang, S.-R., Zhang, Y.-L., Ruohoniemi, J. M., Lester, M., Thomas, E. G., Liu, R.-Y., Dunlop, M. W., Liu, Y. C.-M. and Ma, Y.-Z. (2016) Earth's ion upflow associated with polar cap patches: global and in-situ observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (5). pp. 1845-1853. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2016GL067897


We report simultaneous global monitoring of a patch of ionization and in situ observation of ion upflow at the center of the polar cap region during a geomagnetic storm. Our observations indicate strong fluxes of upwelling O+ ions originating from frictional heating produced by rapid antisunward flow of the plasma patch. The statistical results from the crossings of the central polar cap region by Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F16–F18 from 2010 to 2013 confirm that the field-aligned flow can turn upward when rapid antisunward flows appear, with consequent significant frictional heating of the ions, which overcomes the gravity effect. We suggest that such rapidly moving patches can provide an important source of upwelling ions in a region where downward flows are usually expected. These observations give new insight into the processes of ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:58514
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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