Plasma Physics Reports

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 198–205 | Cite as

Dust acoustic solitons in the dusty plasma of the Earth’s ionosphere

  • S. I. Kopnin
  • I. N. Kosarev
  • S. I. Popel
  • M. Y. Yu
Dusty Plasma


Stratified structures that are observed at heights of 80–95 km in the lower part of the Earth’s ionosphere are known as noctilucent clouds and polar mesosphere summer echoes. These structures are thought to be associated with the presence of vast amounts of charged dust or aerosols. The layers in the lower ionosphere where there are substantial amounts of dust are called the dusty ionosphere. The dust grains can carry a positive or a negative charge, depending on their constituent materials. As a rule, the grains are ice crystals, which may contain metallic inclusions. A grain with a sufficiently large metallic content can acquire a positive charge. Crystals of pure ice are charged negatively. The distribution of the dust grains over their charges has a profound impact on the ionizational and other properties of dust structures in the dusty ionosphere. In the present paper, a study is made of the effect of the sign of the dust charge on the properties of dust acoustic solitons propagating in the dusty ionosphere. It is shown that, when the dust charge is positive, dust acoustic solitons correspond to a hill in the electron density and a well in the ion density. When the dust is charged negatively, the situation is opposite. These differences in the properties of dust acoustic solitons can be used to diagnose the plasmas of noctilucent clouds and polar mesosphere summer echoes.


Dust Soliton Positive Charge Vast Amount Profound Impact 
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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. I. Kopnin
    • 1
  • I. N. Kosarev
    • 1
  • S. I. Popel
    • 1
  • M. Y. Yu
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Geosphere DynamicsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute for Theoretical Physics IRuhr University BochumBochumGermany

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