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Title: The Dependence of the Strength and Thickness of Field-Aligned Currents on Solar Wind and Ionospheric Parameters

Sheared plasma flows at the low-latitude boundary layer correlate well with early afternoon auroral arcs and eld-aligned currents [Sonnerup, 1980; Lundin and Evans, 1985]. We present a simple analytic model that relates solar wind and ionospheric parameters to the strength and thickness of field-aligned currents in a region of sheared velocity, such as the low latitude boundary layer. We compare the predictions of the model with DMSP observations and nd remarkably good scaling of the currents with solar wind and ionospheric parameters. The sheared boundary layer thickness is inferred to be around 3000km consistent with observational studies. The analytic model provides a simple way to organize data and to infer boundary layer structures from ionospheric data.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. PPPL
  2. Johns Hopkins University
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research
Journal of Geophysical Research
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; Field Aligned Currents; Magnetopaose Structure/ current - voltage relations