We present results of both a linear and a nonlinear study of oxygen cyclotron waves and the associated oxygen heating. Linear theory predicts that oxygen cyclotron waves will have smaller growth rates than hydrogen cyclotron waves. Results of a simulation study in which the free energy source is an initial drifting electron distribution indicate that oxygen cyclotron waves only grow to small amplitudes, while the hydrogen cyclotron waves achieve larger amplitudes. In an attempt to model more realistically the continuous ionospheric outflow, a simulation model is used, in which the electron velocity distribution is maintained by a constant flow of electrons. This latter model predicts that the oxygen waves grow to amplitudes much larger than the hydrogen waves resulting in the preferential heating of the heavier ions.
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