Plasma Wave Heating in the E-region
It has been shown in previous studies that at 110 km altitude, the electron temperature can be quite large in the presence of strong electric fields. This thesis explores the possibility of deviations from the normal trends in the high latitude E-region electron heating in reaction to strong electric fields. The study is based on data from the EISCAT Incoherent Scatter Radar during the International Polar Year. Out of a large number of possibilities (the radar operated essentially on a continuous basis for a year) only seven events proved to have sufficiently strong electric fields and large enough plasma densities to be characterized as ‘good heating events’. The electron temperature enhancements in these events, at 110 km, were several hundred K above from the background temperature and correlated well with ion temperature at 150 km altitude. The results for these good events agreed very well with past studies, aside from the smaller starting temperatures which were likely connected to the quiet solar conditions at the time. This stated, a different type of E region electron heating event was identified. In that case the E region electron densities were small (night-time conditions free of electron precipitation) and the electron temperatures reached a maximum near 150 km altitude. In those events the electron temperature enhancements extended down to the lower altitudes, introducing small, but detectable, electron temperature enhancements all the way down to 105 km altitude. .
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentPhysics and Engineering Physics
SupervisorSt. Maurice, Jean-Pierre
CommitteeSmolyakov, Andrei; Pywell, Rob; Bourassa, Adam; Srinivasan, Raj
Copyright DateJanuary 2015
EISCAT UHF Radar