EISCAT observations of plasma convection and the high-latitude, winter F-region during substorm activity
Lockwood, M., Farmer, A.D., Opgenoorth, H.J. and Crothers, S.R. (1984) EISCAT observations of plasma convection and the high-latitude, winter F-region during substorm activity. Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, 46 (6-7). pp. 489-499. ISSN 00219169
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/0021-9169(84)90067-9
A 24 h period of observations by the EISCAT radar and other ground-based instrumentation is used to study the role of plasma convection in determining the morphology of the high-latitude F-region during winter. It is suggested that, in the afternoon sector of the polar convection pattern, rapid zonal (westward) flows caused low F-region electron densities due to an extension of the mid-latitude trough far into the sunlit hemisphere. Low densities on the dawn side prior to 0600 UT may also have been due to a trough-like feature. Although the generation mechanism is unclear, the trough may be the fossil remnant of a substorm. Around midnight, high F-region densities were seen, probably due to plasma flow emerging from the cap through soft particle precipitation in the auroral oval. Two substorms occurred at times when the radar was south of the auroral oval. Both caused enhanced convection speeds, a swing to equatorward flow, enhanced E-region densities and a depleted F-region. The first was seen as a Westward Travelling Surge, and the swing to purely southward flow which followed the surge front did not return to westward flows until 80–110 min later. The Harang discontinuity was observed co-rotating eastwards between the substorms, 65 ± 30 min before the separatrix between the dawn and dusk convection cells.