Effect of auroral substorms on the ionospheric range spread-F enhancements at high southern midlatitudes using real time vertical-sounding ionograms

Hajkowicz, Lech A. (2016) Effect of auroral substorms on the ionospheric range spread-F enhancements at high southern midlatitudes using real time vertical-sounding ionograms. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 140 108-113. doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2016.02.002


Author Hajkowicz, Lech A.
Title Effect of auroral substorms on the ionospheric range spread-F enhancements at high southern midlatitudes using real time vertical-sounding ionograms
Journal name Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1364-6826
1879-1824
Publication date 2016-03-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jastp.2016.02.002
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 140
Start page 108
End page 113
Total pages 6
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract A comprehensive study has been undertaken on the effect of magnetic substorm onsets (as deduced from the auroral hourly electrojet AE-index) on the occurrence of high midlatitude (or sub-auroral latitude) ionospheric range spread-F (Sr). Unlike the previous reports real-time ionograms were used in this analysis thus eliminating ambiguities stemming from the correlating secondary evidence of spread-F with auroral substorms. The Australian southernmost ionosonde station Hobart (51.6°S geom.) proved to be uniquely suitable for the task as being sufficiently close to the southern auroral zone. Sr was assigned in km to each hourly nighttime ionogram at two sounding frequencies: Sr1 (at 2 MHz) and Sr2 (at 6 MHz) for four months in 2002: January and June (representing southern summer and winter solstices), and March and September (representing autumn and vernal equinoxes). It is evident that the southern winter solstitial period (June) is associated with high endemic midlatitude spread-F activity. All other seasons are closely linked with temporal sequences of enhanced spread-F activity following substorm onsets.For the first time it was possible not only find a simultaneous occurrence pattern of these diverse phenomena but to deduce numerical characteristics of the response of midlatitude ionosphere to the global auroral stimulus. Excellent case events, hitherto unpublished, are shown illustrating the presence of the AE peaks (in nT) being ahead of Sr peaks (in km) by a time shift Δt (in h). Sr1 magnitude showed a significant correlation with the magnitudes of the preceding AE with a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.51 (probability of the occurrence by chance less than 0.01). Sr2 peaks were more sensitive to auroral disturbances but were not correlated with the AE magnitude variations. The time shift (Δt) was on average 4 h with a standard deviation of 3 h.The general pattern in the occurrence of magnetic substorms and spread-F is very similar. A number of corresponding peaks of the AE-index and Sr fluctuations were identified. The sub-auroral ionosphere response tends to last longer than the initiating auroral disturbance (hysteresis effect). The simultaneous quiescent periods in the auroral and sub-auroral ionospheres have been encountered on at least 14 days.
Keyword Effect of auroral electrojet
Effect of auroral substorms
Ionospheric mid-latitude spread-F
Sub-auroral ionosphere
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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