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Solar activity dependence of ion upflow in the polar ionosphere observed with the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) Tromso UHF radar
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.
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2010 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, Vol. 115, A07310- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The influence of solar activity upon ion upflow in the polar ionosphere was investigated using data obtained by the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) Tromso UHF radar between 1984 and 2008. In agreement with other work we find that the upward ion flux is generally higher when solar activity is high than when it is low. Ion upflow events and also the upward velocity behave the opposite: they are more frequently seen and higher, respectively, at times of low solar activity. In any year about 30-40% ion upflow is accompanied by similar to 500 K higher electron temperature than the background temperature at 400 km altitude. Electron and ion heating in connection with upflow is nearly twice as prevalent during high solar activity as it is at low activity. The acceleration of ions by pressure gradients and ambipolar electric field becomes larger when solar activity is low than when it is high. This variation of the average acceleration is caused by the different shapes of electron density profiles for low and high solar activities. Ions start to flow up at above 450 km altitude when solar activity was high, and lower, at 300-500 km altitude, at low solar activity. It is suggested that the solar activity influences long-term variations of the ion upflow occurrence because it modulates the density of neutral particles, the formation of the F2 density peak, and ion-neutral collision frequencies in the thermosphere and ionosphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 115, A07310- p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-147195DOI: 10.1029/2009JA014766ISI: 000280051200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-147195DiVA: diva2:400303
Available from: 2011-02-25 Created: 2011-02-24 Last updated: 2011-02-25Bibliographically approved

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