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Small spatial and fast temporal ionosphere -magnetosphere coupling processes

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dc.contributor.author Zhu, Hua
dc.date.accessioned 2018-08-08T19:20:27Z
dc.date.available 2018-08-08T19:20:27Z
dc.date.issued 2000
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11122/9557
dc.description Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2000
dc.description.abstract I have developed a two-dimensional, three-fluid model (electrons, ions and neutrals) to simulate small-scale magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling processes. The code includes ionization and recombination processes, the Hall term in Ohm's law, and various heat sources in the energy equations. The electro-dynamic response and the evolution of the collision frequencies are treated self-consistently in a height resolved ionosphere. The model allows for the propagation of Alfven waves. The simulation is particularly suited for fast temporal variations and small spatial scale ionospheric structures associated with filamentary aurora and ionospheric heating experiments (e.g. HAARP). I have investigated the evolution of field-aligned currents in the magnetosphere-ionosphere system and found several notable effects---ion heating due to plasma-neutral friction, electron heating resulting from energetic particle precipitation and ohmic dissipation by strong field-aligned currents. The simulation of plasma. heating in the ionosphere is motivated by a specific auroral event that was simultaneously observed with optical and radar instruments. The results indicate that a consistent explanation of this event requires ohmic heating of electrons in a strong field-aligned electric current layer. They suggest strongly that the observed sequence of events can be explained only if spatial structure is present in the ionosphere so that it requires at least a two-dimensional model. Electron heating in strong field-aligned currents also provides a mechanism to deposit energy in the F-region of ionosphere and thus can explain the formation of tall auroral arcs. The simulation of the formation of field-aligned currents shows a strong plasma density depletion in the region of downward field-aligned current layer. The depletion is due to the divergent flow of the plasma. Similarly, the plasma density increases in the region of upward field-aligned current because of the convergent plasma motion. A modification of the ionospheric conditions by localized particle precipitation has an interesting effect. At the edge of the precipitation region, a new field-aligned current filament is formed. Finally, the simulation code is not limited by steady state assumptions commonly used for the Hall model and Pedersen conductivities.
dc.subject Plasma physics
dc.subject Physics, Atmospheric Science
dc.title Small spatial and fast temporal ionosphere -magnetosphere coupling processes
dc.type Thesis
dc.type.degree phd
dc.contributor.chair Otto, Antonius


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