Time-dependent convection at high latitudes
Abstract. A fully time-dependent ionospheric convection model, in which electric potentials are derived by an analytic solution of Laplace's equation, is described. This model has been developed to replace the empirically derived average convection patterns currently used routinely in the Sheffield/SEL/UCL coupled thermosphere/ionosphere/plasmasphere model (CTIP) for modelling disturbed periods. Illustrative studies of such periods indicate that, for the electric field pulsation periods imposed, long-term averages of parameters such as Joule heating and plasma density have significantly different values in a time-dependent model compared to those derived under the same mean conditions in a steady-state model. These differences are indicative of the highly non-linear nature of the processes involved.