Science China Technological Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 9, pp 1340–1345 | Cite as

Cold plasma redistribution throughout geospace



The redistribution of the electrically charged cold plasma of ionospheric origin involves the equatorial, low, mid, auroral, and polar-latitude regions in a multi-step, system-wide process linking the regions of geospace. Observations with ground and space-based instruments characterize the geospace plume-regularly occurring channels of enhanced plasma density flowing at both ionospheric and magnetospheric altitudes. Convection in the SAPS channel transports the eroded material to the noontime cusp in the ionosphere and to the dayside magnetopause at high altitudes. As the fluxes of cold plume plasma traverse the cusp and enter the polar cap, they form the polar tongue of ionization. At the cusp the plume plasma provides a rich source of heavy ions for the magnetospheric injection and acceleration via the mechanisms operative on those field lines.


plasmasphere ionosphere geospace GPS TEC ionospheric electric field plume 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Haystack ObservatoryWestfordUSA

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