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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-112
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-112
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: regular paper 03 Sep 2019

Submitted as: regular paper | 03 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Plasma density gradients at the edge of polar ionospheric holes: the presence and absence of phase scintillation

Luke A. Jenner1, Alan G. Wood1, Gareth D. Dorrian1, Kjellmar Oksavik2,3, Timothy K. Yeoman4, Alexandra R. Fogg4, and Anthea J. Coster5 Luke A. Jenner et al.
  • 1School of Science & Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK
  • 2Birkeland Centre for Space Science, Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 3Arctic Geophysics, University Centre in Svalbard, Longyearbyen, Norway
  • 4Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 5MIT Haystack Observatory, Massachusetts, USA

Abstract. Polar holes were observed in the high-latitude ionosphere during a series of multi-instrument case studies close to the northern hemisphere winter solstice in 2014 and 2015. These holes were observed during geomagnetically quiet conditions and under a range of solar activities using the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) Svalbard Radar (ESR) and measurements from Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) satellites. Steep electron density gradients have been associated with phase scintillation in previous studies, however, no enhanced scintillation was detected within the electron density gradients at these boundaries. It is suggested that the lack of phase scintillation may be due to low plasma density levels and a lack of intense particle precipitation. It may be that both significant electron density gradients and that plasma density levels above a certain threshold are required for scintillation to occur.

Luke A. Jenner et al.
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Luke A. Jenner et al.
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Latest update: 19 Sep 2019
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Short summary
Observations of ionospheric plasma density, in the northern polar cap, investigated the boundary of regions containing much lower than background plasma density. Similar regions containing higher than background density have been linked to fluctuations of phase and amplitude in radio waves traversing the density gradient at their boundary. These fluctuations were absent through the density gradient at the lower than background regions showing a minimum of both density and gradient are required.
Observations of ionospheric plasma density, in the northern polar cap, investigated the boundary...
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