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The upper atmospheric fountain effect in the polar cusp region

Marker [Rentz], S. (2009): The upper atmospheric fountain effect in the polar cusp region, PhD Thesis, (Scientific Technical Report STR ; 09/05), Potsdam : Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, xix, 134 S. p.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.2312/GFZ.b103-09050



http://gfzpublic.gfz-potsdam.de/pubman/item/escidoc:8790
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0905.pdf
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Abstract
[...] According to the results of this thesis the following mechanism is suggested to cause the cusp-related density anomaly: The energy input by the solar wind, as characterised by the merging electric field, provides the power for Joule heating of preferably neutral molecules. Soft particle precipitation in the cusp simultaneously enhances the altitude of maximal Pedersen conductivity, thus lifting up the heated layer in the cusp. The cusp-related density anomaly is then caused by local composition changes in the upper atmosphere due to the differential expansion of heavier particles. The density enhancement is more intensive during phases of high solar activity, i.e. a larger background density favours the formation of large anomalies. The atmospheric fountain in the cusp region affects the upper atmosphere globally. The harmonic exitation of the fountain in 2005 caused a global density variation of the thermosphere.