EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The electrodynamic influence of thermospheric winds in the daytime ionosphere.

Thomas Immel1, Brian Harding1, Roderick Heelis2, Astrid Maute3, Jeffrey Forbes4, Scott England5, Stephen Mende1, Christoph Englert6, Russell Stoneback2, Kenneth Marr6, John Harlander7, Jonathan Makela8, and Colin Triplett1
Thomas Immel et al.
  • 1University of California, Berkeley, CA (
  • 2University of Texas, Dallas, TX
  • 3National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
  • 4University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
  • 5Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
  • 6United States Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC
  • 7Space Systems Research Corporation, Alexandria, VA
  • 8University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL

The electrodynamic influence of thermospheric winds is an effect thought to dominate the development of the daytime low-latitude ionosphere, through the generation of dynamo currents and associated vertical plasma drifts. Until recently, observations of the thermospheric and ionopsheric state variables have mainly been defined and compared on climatological time scales, due to their collection from separate observatories with disparate measurement capabilities.  These datasets are inadequate for investigation of the actual action of thermospheric drivers as they modify the ionospheric state, as the response clearly changes on 24-hour timescales, and shorter when viewed in the a constant-local-time frame of reference. New observatiions of thermospheric winds, uninterrupted over the 90-300 km altitude range, are now provided by the Ionospheric Connection Explorer along with simultaneous plasma velocity and density measurments. These observations are directly comparable to the wind measurements in crossings of the magnetic equator, where the winds are magnetically conjugate to the drift measurements. Investigation of the noon-sector drifts vs wind drivers is presented. We find that the local driver is clearly evident in the noon-time vertical plasma drifts under all conditions.


How to cite: Immel, T., Harding, B., Heelis, R., Maute, A., Forbes, J., England, S., Mende, S., Englert, C., Stoneback, R., Marr, K., Harlander, J., Makela, J., and Triplett, C.: The electrodynamic influence of thermospheric winds in the daytime ionosphere., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14252,, 2021.

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