University of Crete Island of Crete

ISEA 12 Session S8

S8: Coupling processes at low- and mid-latitudes

Thursday, May 22, 2008 (afternoon)

Convener: M. Larsen
Co-conveners: K. Shiokawa, R. Cosgrove


Coupling processes are critical to our understanding of nearly all the important phenomena in the mid- and low-latitude ionosphere. Coupled processes make a system more than the sum of its parts. The first step in analyzing complicated systems is normally to identify the component systems, which are simple enough to be understood. Separating the components, however, can eliminate critical physics. Coupling processes can be local in the sense of sporadic ionization layers, i.e., sporadic E layers, intermediate layers, or F-region ionization, forced by gravity waves, tides, or large-scale planetary waves. Local coupling can also be associated with instabilities, either in the neutrals or the plasma, including neutral shear instabilities, for example, that drive or seed plasma structure or plasma instabilities that affect the neutral atmosphere, either by changing the drag or the local heating. Important processes are also represented by coupling across atmospheric regions, including the effects of waves generated in the lower atmosphere on the dynamics or electrodynamics of the E- or F-region, effects of the electrodynamic coupling between the E- and F-region and between the E- and F-region and the plasmasphere, and the more transient coupling represented by sprites, elves, and lightning-induced electric fields. There are also important effects represented by latitudinal coupling. The session seeks contributions on these or other closely related topics.

  • Dynamical and electrodynamical coupling processes
  • Mid-latitude spread-F and TIDs at medium and large scales
  • Nighttime electrodynamic coupling between E- and F-region plasma structures
  • Transient luminous events (sprites and elves) and lower ionospheric modifications caused by lightning-induced electric fields
  • Gravity, tidal, and planetary wave forcing of sporadic E layer, intermediate ion layers, and the F region
  • Large wind shears and K-H instabilities in the E region
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