O+ and H+ Escape Fluxes from the Polar Regions

  1. T. E. Moore,
  2. J. H. Waite Jr.,
  3. T. W. Moorehead and
  4. W. B. Hanson
  1. A. R. Barakat1,
  2. R. W. Schunk1,
  3. T. E. Moore2 and
  4. J. H. Waite Jr.2

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM044p0241

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma

How to Cite

Barakat, A. R., Schunk, R. W., Moore, T. E. and Waite, J. H. (1988) O+ and H+ Escape Fluxes from the Polar Regions, in Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma (eds T. E. Moore, J. H. Waite, T. W. Moorehead and W. B. Hanson), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM044p0241

Author Information

  1. 1

    Center for Atmospheric & Space Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322

  2. 2

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama 35812

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1988

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900704

Online ISBN: 9781118664414



  • Space plasmas—Mathematical models;
  • Magnetosphere—Mathematical models;
  • Ionosphere—Mathematical models


The coupled continuity and momentum equations for H+, O+, and electrons were solved for the terrestrial ionosphere in order to determine the limiting ion escape fluxes at high latitudes. The effects of solar cycle, season, geomagnetic activity, and the altitude of the acceleration region on the ion escape fluxes were studied for average conditions. The main conclusions of the study are as follows: (1) As solar activity increases, the general trend is for an increase in the limiting O+ escape flux and a decrease in the limiting H+ escape flux. (2) In winter, the limiting escape fluxes of both O+ and H+ are larger than those in summer, particularly for low geomagnetic activity. (3) The O+ content of the ion outflow increases with increasing demand imposed on the ionosphere by a high-altitude acceleration process, increasing solar activity, increasing geomagnetic activity, in creasing solar elevation from winter to summer, and a lowering of the altitude of the acceleration region. The general trends obtained for average conditions appear to mimic the qualitative behavior determined from statistically averaged data for comparable absolute escape flux magnitudes.