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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-60
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-60
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  19 Aug 2020

19 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Testing the Electrodynamic Method to Derive Height-Integrated Ionospheric Conductances

Daniel Weimer1,2 and Thom Edwards3 Daniel Weimer and Thom Edwards
  • 1Center for Space Science and Engineering Research, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
  • 2National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Virginia, USA
  • 3DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract. We have used empirical models for electric potentials and the magnetic fields in both space and on the ground to obtain maps of the height-integrated Pedersen and Hall ionospheric conductivities at high latitudes. This calculation required use of both "curl-free" and "divergence-free" components of the ionospheric currents, with the former obtained from magnetic fields that are used in a model of the field-aligned currents. The second component is from the equivalent current, usually associated with Hall currents, derived from the ground-level magnetic field. Conductances were calculated for varying combinations of the Interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) magnitude and orientation angle, as well as the dipole tilt angle. The results show that reversing the sign of the Y component of the IMF produces substantially different conductivity patterns. The Hall conductivities are largest on the dawn side in the upward, Region 2 field-aligned currents. Low electric field strengths in the Harang discontinuity lead to inconclusive results near midnight. Calculations of the Joule heating, obtained from the electric field and both components of the ionospheric current, are compared with the Poynting flux in space. The maps show some differences, while their integrated totals match to within 1 %. Some of the Poynting flux that enters the polar cap is dissipated as Joule heating within the auroral ovals, where the conductivity is greater.

Daniel Weimer and Thom Edwards

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Daniel Weimer and Thom Edwards

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Supporting Information and data archive for "Testing the Electrodynamic Method to Derive Height-Integrated Ionospheric Conductances" Daniel Weimer and Thom Edwards https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3985988

Daniel Weimer and Thom Edwards

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Short summary
The electrical conductivity of the Earth's ionosphere is an important parameter in the study of the the polar, auroral currents that produce magnetic disturbances on the ground. Yet the values of the conductances, and how they vary, are not known with great precision. In our study we tested a method for deriving the conductivity values that requires use of three empirical models, for the electric fields above the ionosphere and the magnetic field perturbations both on the ground and in space.
The electrical conductivity of the Earth's ionosphere is an important parameter in the study of...
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