Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 67–100 | Cite as

Physical mechanisms of man-made influences on the magnetosphere

  • M. Parrot
  • Y. Zaslavski


Since the discovery of the Luxembourg effect in the 1930s, it is clear that man-made activities can perturb the ionosphere and the magnetosphere. The anthropogenic effects are mainly due to different kinds of waves coming from the Earth's surface. Acoustic-gravity waves are generated by large explosions, spacecraft launches, or flight of supersonic planes. Electromagnetic waves are active in different frequency ranges. Power line harmonic radiation which is radiated in the ELF range by electrical power systems can be observed over industrial areas. At VLF and HF, the ground-based transmitters used for communications or radio-navigation heat the ionosphere and change the natural parameters. A large variety of phenomena is observed: wave-particle interaction, precipitation of radiation belt electrons, parametric coupling of EM whistler waves, triggered emissions, frequency shift, and whistler spectrum broadening. This paper will review the different physical mechanisms which are relevant to such perturbations. The possibility of direct chemical pollution in the ionosphere due to gas releases is also discussed.

Key words

anthropogenic effect ionosphere man-made waves greenhouse gas 



pitch angle


magnetic field


Earth's magnetic field


wave magnetic field


light velocity


sound velocity


electron charge


electric field


electric permittivity of free space




gravitational acceleration




Boltzmann's constant


wave number


wave vector


absorption coefficient

L, lγ

loss rate


McIlwain's parameter


electron mass


permeability of free space




refractive index


collision frequency

p, P


Q, q

loss rate






conductivity tensor


Hall conductivity


Pedersen conductivity







V, v

particle velocity


group velocity


angular wave frequency


acoustic cutoff frequency (Equation (3))


Brünt-Väisälä frequency (Equation (3))


wave cyclotron frequency (e B0/m)


plasma frequency (N e e2/m0)1/2


wave trapping frequency (Equation (24))


wave cyclotron frequency (eBw/m)


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Parrot
    • 1
  • Y. Zaslavski
    • 1
  1. 1.LPCE/CNRSOrléans Cédex 2France

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