Role of the Ionosphere in the Generation of Large-Amplitude Ulf Waves at High Latitudes

Friday, 19 December 2014
Beket Tulegenov, Thomas Guido and Anatoly V Streltsov, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL, United States
We present results from the statistical study of ULF waves detected by the fluxgate magnetometer in Gakona, Alaska during several experimental campaigns conducted at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in years 2011-2013. We analyzed frequencies of ULF waves recorded during 26 strongly disturbed geomagnetic events (substorms) and compared them with frequencies of ULF waves detected during magnetically quite times. Our analysis demonstrates that the frequency of the waves carrying most of the power almost in all these events is less than 1 mHz. We also analyzed data from the ACE satellite, measuring parameters of the solar wind in the L1 Lagrangian point between Earth and Sun, and found that in several occasions there is a strong correlation between oscillations of the magnetic field in the solar wind and oscillations detected on the ground. We also found several cases when there is no correlation between signals detected on ACE and on the ground. This finding suggests that these frequencies correspond to the fundamental eigenfrequency of the coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere system. The low frequency of the oscillations is explained by the effect of the ionosphere, where the current is carried by ions through highly collisional media. The amplitude of these waves can reach significant magnitude when the system is driven by the external driver (for example, the solar wind) with this particular frequency. When the frequency of the driver does not match the frequency of the system, the waves still are observed, but their amplitudes are much smaller.