Theoretical study of polar cap arcs: Time-dependent model and its applications


  • L. Zhu,

  • J. J. Sojka,

  • R. W. Schunk,

  • D. J. Crain


A time-dependent theoretical model of polar cap arcs developed during the Coupling, Energetics, and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions/High-Latitude Plasma Structures (CEDAR/HLPS) campaigns in the past two years is briefly described. In the model the electrodynamics of the polar cap arcs are treated self-consistently in the frame of the coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere system. The preliminary simulation results of the temporal evolution and spatial structure of the polar cap arcs for both winter and summer conditions are presented. The model can be used to conduct both the model-observation study of specific features of the polar cap arcs and the quantitative theoretical study of typical or average features of the arcs. Several potential specific applications of the model to the polar cap arc phenomenon are also discussed in the paper.