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Space Science Reviews

, Volume 158, Issue 1, pp 145–166 | Cite as

Low Latitude Ionospheric Electrodynamics

  • Bela G. FejerEmail author
Article

Abstract

The low latitude ionosphere is strongly affected by several highly variable electrodynamic processes. Over the last two decades ground-based and satellite measurements and global numerical models have been extensively used to study the longitude-dependent climatology of low latitude electric fields and currents. These electrodynamic processes and their ionospheric effects exhibit large ranges of temporal and spatial variations during both geomagnetic quiet and disturbed conditions. Numerous recent studies have investigated the short term response of equatorial electric fields and currents to lower atmospheric transport processes and solar wind-magnetosphere driving mechanisms. This includes the large electric field and current perturbations associated with arctic sudden stratospheric warming events during geomagnetic quiet times and highly variable storm time prompt penetration and ionospheric disturbance dynamo effects. In this review, we initially describe recent experimental and numerical modeling results of the global climatology and short term variability of quiet time low latitude electrodynamic plasma drifts. Then, we examine the present understanding of equatorial electric field and current perturbation fields during periods of enhanced geomagnetic activity.

Keywords

Electric fields Equatorial ionosphere Ionosphere/magnetosphere interactions Ionospheric dynamics 

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Atmospheric and Space SciencesUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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