The Electrostatic Drift Wave in the Inner Magnetosphere

  1. Gordon R. Wilson
  1. T. S. Huang

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM062p0135

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma Processes

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma Processes

How to Cite

Huang, T. S. (1991) The Electrostatic Drift Wave in the Inner Magnetosphere, in Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma Processes (ed G. R. Wilson), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM062p0135

Author Information

  1. Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 692, Greenbelt, MD 20771

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1991

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900285

Online ISBN: 9781118663905



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


We investigate electrostatic drift waves with k·B = 0 in the Birkeland current flow region of the inner magnetosphere. In the evening sector of Region I (and perhaps the morning sector of Region II) associating with parallel currents away from the ionosphere there exists a field-aligned potential drop. It modifies the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling relation in those regions, and effectively reduce the field line-tying effect of the ionosphere. Using the theory of individual particle motion and the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling relation, we formulate the linear theory for an azimuthally propagating electrostatic drift wave in the above regions. The results show that an instability may arise from resonance of the wave with the drift of hot plasma particles (ring current plasma and sheet plasma). This instability is related to the difference between the distributions of hot electrons and ions in the plasma. The growth rate of the wave is linear in the azimuthal wave number.