Penetration of Nonstationary Ionospheric Electric Fields into Lower Atmospheric Layers in the Global Electric Circuit Model
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The problem of the penetration of nonstationary ionospheric electric fields into the lower atmospheric layers is considered based on the model of the global electric circuit in the Earth’s atmosphere. For the equation of the electric field potential, a solution that takes into account exponential variation in the electrical conductivity with height has been obtained. Analysis of the solution made it possible to reveal three cases of the dependence of the solution on height. The first case (the case of high frequencies) corresponds to the Coulomb approximation, when the electrical conductivity of the atmosphere can be neglected. In the case of low frequencies (when the frequency of changes in the ionosphere potential is less than the quantity reciprocal to the time of electric relaxation of the atmosphere), a quasi-stationary regime, in which the variation in the electric potential of the atmosphere is determined by the electric conduction currents, occurs. In the third case, due to the increase in the electrical conductivity of the atmosphere, two spherical regions appear: with the Coulomb approximation in the lower region and conduction currents in the upper one. For these three cases, formulas for estimating the electric field strength near the Earth’s surface have been obtained.
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