Electric field effects on ionospheric and thermospheric parameters above the EISCAT station for summer conditions
Abstract. Numerical calculations of the thermospheric and ionospheric parameters above EISCAT are presented for quiet geomagnetic conditions in summer. The Global Self-consistent Model of the Thermosphere, Ionosphere and Protonosphere (GSM TIP) was used. The numerical results were obtained both with a self-consistent calculation of the electric fields of magnetospheric and dynamo-action origin and with the magnetospheric electric fields only. It was found that the dynamo-electric field has some effect on the ionospheric convection pattern during quiet geomagnetic conditions. It has a marked effect mainly on the zonal neutral wind component above EISCAT (±20 m/s at 140 km altitude). We have studied the effects of various field-aligned current (FAC) distributions on thermosphere/ionosphere parameters and we show that a qualitative agreement can be obtained with region-I and -II FAC zones at 75° and 65° geomagnetic latitude, respectively. The maximum FAC intensities have been assumed at 03–21 MLT for both regions with peak values of 2.5×10–7 A m–2 (region I) and 1.25×10–7 A m–2 (region II). These results are in agreement with statistical potential distribution and FAC models constructed by use of EISCAT data. The lack of decreased electron density in the night-time sector as observed by the EISCAT radar was found to be due to the spatial distribution of ionospheric convection resulting from electric fields of magnetospheric origin.
Key words. Electric fields and currents · Ionosphere- atmosphere interactions · Modelling and forecasting