Control of the topside Martian ionosphere by crustal magnetic fields
2015 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 120, no 4, 3042-3058 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We present observations from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) instrument onboard Mars Express of the thermal electron plasma density of the Martian ionosphere and investigate the extent to which it is influenced by the presence of Mars's remnant crustal magnetic fields. We use locally measured electron densities, derived when MARSIS is operating in active ionospheric sounding (AIS) mode, covering an altitude range from approximate to 300km to approximate to 1200km. We compare these measured densities to an empirical model of the dayside ionospheric plasma density in this diffusive transport-dominated regime. We show that small spatial-scale departures from the averaged values are strongly correlated with the pattern of the crustal fields. Persistently elevated densities are seen in regions of relatively stronger crustal fields across the whole altitude range. Comparing these results with measurements of the (scalar) magnetic field also obtained by MARSIS/AIS, we characterize the dayside strength of the draped magnetic fields in the same regions. Finally, we provide a revised empirical model of the plasma density in the Martian ionosphere, including parameterizations for both the crustal field-dominated and draping-dominated regimes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 120, no 4, 3042-3058 p.
Mars, ionosphere, crustal fields, MARSIS, Mars Express
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-256862DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020703ISI: 000354894800049OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-256862DiVA: diva2:827137