High altitude electrostatic fields driving subauroral ion drifts
De Keyser, J.
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A subauroral ion drift (SAID) layer is characterised by a narrow peak of westward ion drift speed exceeding 1000 m/s. It is confined in less than 1 degree in latitude and located equatorward of the nightside auroral zone but poleward of the plasmapause. We propose a mechanism for the narrow peak electric field driving this phenomenon: an electrostatic potential is produced by thermo-electric charge separation across the front edge of a hot plasma cloud moving inward from the tail and penetrating into the colder background plasma in the plasmatrough and at the plasmapause. Quantitative calculations corroborate this scenario.
CitationLemaire, J.F.; Roth, M.; De Keyser, J. (1998). High altitude electrostatic fields driving subauroral ion drifts. , COSPAR Colloquia Series: Magnetospheric Research with Advanced Techniques Proceedings of the 9th COSPAR Colloquim, 15-19 April 1996, Beijing, China, Vol. 9, 61-64, DOI: 10.1016/S0964-2749(98)80010-3.