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Title: Fractal approach to the description of the auroral region

The plasma of the auroral region, where energetic particles precipitate from the magnetosphere into the ionosphere, is highly inhomogeneous and nonstationary. In this case, traditional methods of classical plasma physics turn out to be inapplicable. In order to correctly describe the dynamic regimes, transition processes, fluctuations, and self-similar scalings in this region, nonlinear dynamics methods based of the concepts of fractal geometry and percolation theory can be used. In this work, the fractal geometry and percolation theory are used to describe the spatial structure of the ionospheric conductivity. The topological properties, fractal dimensions, and connective indices characterizing the structure of the Pedersen and Hall conductivities on the nightside auroral zone are investigated theoretically. The restrictions imposed on the fractal estimates by the condition of ionospheric current percolation are analyzed. It is shown that the fluctuation scalings of the electric fields and auroral glow observed in the auroral zone fit well the restrictions imposed by the critical condition on the percolation of the Pedersen current. Thus, it is demonstrated that the fractal approach is a promising and convenient method for studying the properties of the ionosphere.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Russian Academy of Sciences, Space Research Institute (Russian Federation)
  2. Russian Academy of Sciences, Polar Geophysical Institute, Kola Science Center (Russian Federation)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22149309
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Plasma Physics Reports; Journal Volume: 39; Journal Issue: 7; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.; http://www.springer-ny.com; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; AURORAL ZONES; EARTH MAGNETOSPHERE; ELECTRIC FIELDS; FLUCTUATIONS; FRACTALS; IONOSPHERE; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; PARTICLES; PLASMA; PRECIPITATION; SCALING; TOPOLOGY