Radar observations of simultaneous traveling ionospheric disturbances and atmospheric gravity waves


Simultaneous observations of atmospheric gravity waves (AGWs) and traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) measured by an incoherent scatter radar at high latitudes are shown. The measurements were made using a beam swing experiment of the EISCAT UHF radar. The\ F\ region TID is seen as wavefronts in electron density, whereas the\ E\ region AGW is seen in the oscillations of the neutral wind. The wave vector of the TID has a downward component indicating that energy propagates upward. The periods of AGWs and TIDs are approximately the same (52\textendash57min), so it is concluded that the observed gravity wave in the\ E\ region propagates to the\ F\ region causing the TID there. Two interesting properties of the waves are observed. First, the neutral wind oscillations have an amplitude minimum at about 115km. It is suggested that this could be related to the minimum of the vertical refractive index around 120km. Second, in the course of time, the wave vector of the TID turns more in the downward direction, which leads to an increase in the horizontal wave length from 400 to 1450km. A possible explanation is that the background wind increases with altitude and turns the wavefronts more horizontal when distance from a stationary source increases. We suggest that the source is the sunrise terminator, since the horizontal direction of propagation of the TID in the morning hours is from the west, where both the auroral and thunderstorm activity are low.

Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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