Electron temperatures in the F region of the ionosphere: Theory and observations


  • R. W. Schunk,

  • Andrew F. Nagy


The theory and observations relating to electron temperatures in the F region of the ionosphere are reviewed. The review is divided into three basic parts. In the first part the theory concerning electron heating, cooling, and energy transport processes is reviewed, and all the relevant expressions are updated. In the second part the behavior of F region electron temperatures, as measured by satellites, rockets, and incoherent scatter radars, is discussed. This portion covers electron temperature variations with altitude, latitude, local time, season, geomagnetic activity, and solar cycle. The third part is primarily devoted to a discussion of the various attempts to compare measured and calculated F region electron temperatures.