The Formation of High-Latitude Plasma Irregularities by Wind-Shear Action in the Upper Atmosphere

D. J. Fang Radio Physics Lab., Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, Calif.

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Abstract

In the ionospheric E region where the wind effect on plasma is significant, the formation of the wind-caused irregularities at high latitudes is studied by determining the horizontal plasma density gradient generated by the wind velocity. It is found that a horizontal wind-shear action is capable of causing weak irregularities. Our theory may make up for some of the inadequacies of the commonly used wind-shear theory in the region of high latitudes, where the horizontal neutral wind system cannot effectively constrain the ionization to move along the nearly vertical magnetic field lines.

Abstract

In the ionospheric E region where the wind effect on plasma is significant, the formation of the wind-caused irregularities at high latitudes is studied by determining the horizontal plasma density gradient generated by the wind velocity. It is found that a horizontal wind-shear action is capable of causing weak irregularities. Our theory may make up for some of the inadequacies of the commonly used wind-shear theory in the region of high latitudes, where the horizontal neutral wind system cannot effectively constrain the ionization to move along the nearly vertical magnetic field lines.

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