This paper investigates new sources of thermospheric non thermal (hot) oxygen due to exothermic reactions involving numerous minor (ion and neutral) and metastable species. Numerical calculations are performed for low latitude, daytime, winter conditions, with moderately high solar activity and low magnetic activity. Under these conditions we find that the quenching of metastable species are a significant source of hot oxygen, with kinetic energy production rates a factor of ten higher than those due to previously considered O2+ and NO+ dissociative recombination reactions. Some of the most significant new sources of hot oxygen are reactions involving quenching of O+(²D), O(¹D), N(²D), O+(²P) and vibrationally excited N2 by atomic oxygen.
Geophysical Research Letters
American Geophysical Union
Scholarly Commons Citation
Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 21, no. 8, pages 657-660, April 15, 1994.