Thumbnail
Access Restriction
Open

Author Southwood, D. J. ♦ Kivelson, M. G.
Sponsorship USDOE
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword PHYSICS ♦ IONOSPHERE ♦ VORTEX FLOW ♦ TRANSPORT THEORY ♦ MAGNETIC FLUX ♦ MOMENTUM TRANSFER ♦ POLAR REGIONS ♦ NONLINEAR PROBLEMS
Abstract The relation between vorticity and ionospheric flow patterns is investigated by using a fluid mechanics approach in place of the more customary electromagnetic approach. The focus on the fluid features is justified by the observation that in the incompressible limit appropriate to the ionosphere, vorticity can be regarded as the source of the flow field. The authors show how vorticity can be introduced into the flow by local ionospheric conditions. However, in the cases of greatest interest, the vorticity is imposed by external sources, which can be in the magnetosphere or in the solar wind. As an important application, they consider traveling ionospheric vortices propagating around the polar cap boundary. They show that such traveling disturbances transport both momentum and magnetic flux in the direction of their phase velocity, typically antisunward. Like other intermittent disturbances of small scale, such as flux transfer events, individual traveling ionospheric vortices transport relatively little flux, but multiple disturbances could conceivably transport an important fraction of the polar cap magnetic flux from the dayside to the tail. 29 refs., 2 figs.
ISSN 01480227
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1993-07-01
Publisher Place United States
Journal Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume Number 98
Issue Number A7


Open content in new tab

   Open content in new tab