Three-Dimensional Birkeland-Ionospheric Current System Determined from MAGSAT
- Thomas A. Potemra
Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
Copyright 1984 by the American Geophysical Union.
How to Cite
Zanetti, L. J., Baumjohann, W., Potemra, T. A. and Bythrow, P. F. (1984) Three-Dimensional Birkeland-Ionospheric Current System Determined from MAGSAT, in Magnetospheric Currents (ed T. A. Potemra), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM028p0123
- Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
- Published Print: 1 JAN 1984
Print ISBN: 9780875900551
Online ISBN: 9781118664131
- Magnetospheric currents—Congresses;
- Plasma instabilities—Congresses
The relationship of Birkeland currents and ionospheric currents has been determined from MAGSAT magnetic field observations. A two-dimensional ionospheric current analysis using a Fourier technique has been used in this study of several MAGSAT orbits on March 21, 1980. The use of the MAGSAT data allows an extensive ionospheric current system to be matched directly to the inferred Birkeland current system without the aid of a conductivity model (this is not the case with Birkeland currents deduced from surface magnetic field measurements). The results include electrojet current distributions that are generally triangular with peak intensity at the center and, in some cases, more complicated distributions associated with equally complicated Birkeland currents. The Birkeland currents generally occupy the same latitudes as do the electrojets, and the Region I-Region 2 boundary is located near the center of the electrojet.