Martian ionosphere observed by Mars Express. 1. Influence of the crustal magnetic fields
2016 (English)In: Planetary and Space Science, ISSN 0032-0633, E-ISSN 1873-5088, Vol. 124, 62-75 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
We present multi-instrument observations of the effects of the crustal magnetic field on the Martian ionosphere at different altitudes and solar zenith angles by Mars Express. Total electron content (TEC) at solar zenith angles 55 degrees >= SZA >= 105 degrees over the ionosphere with crustal sources increases with the strength of the magnetic field. A similar trend is observed in a dependence of the local electron density in the upper ionosphere on the crustal magnetic field. On the nightside, at SZA >= 110 degrees, the opposite trend of TEC increase with decrease in the magnetic field value is observed. A dependence on the magnetic field inclination also varies between the day and night sides. TEC decreases for vertical field inclination at 90 degrees >= SZA >= 70 degrees and increases at SZA >= 110 degrees. This effect becomes stronger for larger magnetic field values. A different dependence of the local electron densities in the upper ionosphere at small and high SZA is observed too. An ionospheric exhaust for vertical field inclination in the regions with strong crustal sources is probably caused by escape to space along open field lines which arise due to reconnection that is confirmed by the case studies. The existence of such localized ionospheric depressions is also observed by the in-situ plasma observations. In contrast, on the nightside downward plasma transport and electron precipitation along the field lines produce patches of enhanced ionization.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 124, 62-75 p.
Mars, Crustal magnetic field, Ionosphere, Mars Express
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-297890DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2016.02.004ISI: 000374369600005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-297890DiVA: diva2:944604
FunderGerman Research Foundation (DFG), WO 910/1-1Swedish National Space Board, DNR 162/14Swedish Research Council, DNR 621-2014-5526