Equatorial Spread F Fossil Plumes
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC PLASMA PHYSICS DIV
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Behaviour of equatorial spread F ESF fossil plumes, i.e., ESF plumes that have stopped rising, is examined using the NRL SAMI3ESF three-dimensional simulation code. We find that fossil bubbles, plasma density depletions associated with fossil plumes, can persist as high altitude equatorial depletions even while being blown by zonal winds. Corresponding airglow-proxy images of fossil plumes, plots of electron density versus longitude and latitude at a constant altitude of 288 km, are shown to partially fill in in most cases, beginning with the highest altitude field lines within the plume. Specifically, field lines upon which the E field has fallen entirely to zero are affected and only the low altitude 600km portion if each field line fills in. This suggests that it should be possible to observe a bubble at high altitude on a field line for which the corresponding airglow image no longer shows a depletion. In all cases ESF plumes stop rising when the flux-tube-integrated ion mass density inside the upper edge of the bubble is equal to that of the nearby background, further supporting the result of Krall et al.
- Atmospheric Physics