Pi2 pulsations observed around the dawn terminator

S. Imajo, A. Yoshikawa, T. Uozumi, S. Ohtani, A. Nakamizo, R. Marshall, B. M. Shevtsov, V. A. Akulichev, U. Sukhbaatar, A. Liedloff, K. Yumoto

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Abstract

We examined Pi2 pulsations observed simultaneously at low-latitude stations (L = 1.15 - 2.33) around the dawn terminator. Those Pi2 pulsations observed in the sunlit region were polarized in the azimuthal (D, positive eastward) direction. We found that the D component oscillations in the dark and sunlit regions were in antiphase, whereas the H component oscillated in phase. A statistical analysis indicates that these D component phase reversals occurred about 0.5 h sunward of the dawn terminator at 100 km in altitude, corresponding to the highly conducting E layer. The azimuthal polarization and D component phase reversals related to the dawn terminator cannot be explained by the existing models of low-latitude Pi2s (e.g., cavity resonance or substorm current wedge oscillations). Similar D component phase reversals were also found on the dusk side although the amplitude of the D component is smaller than that of the H component. We suggest that the meridional ionospheric current in the sunlit region adjacent to the dawn terminator drives the D component oscillations in antiphase with those D oscillations produced by the oscillatory field-aligned current (FAC) on the postmidnight side. The meridional current is expected to form a part of a current system that extends from the postmidnight FAC to the equatorial Cowling current. The D component oscillations in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are also in antiphase, indicating that the current system is symmetric with respect to the equator. Key Points We examined Pi2 pulsations observed at low latitudes around the dawn terminator Phase reversals of the east-west component occur near the dawn terminator We suggest that meridional ionospheric current drives the east-west oscillation

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2088-2098
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research A: Space Physics
Volume120
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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    Imajo, S., Yoshikawa, A., Uozumi, T., Ohtani, S., Nakamizo, A., Marshall, R., Shevtsov, B. M., Akulichev, V. A., Sukhbaatar, U., Liedloff, A., & Yumoto, K. (2015). Pi2 pulsations observed around the dawn terminator. Journal of Geophysical Research A: Space Physics, 120(3), 2088-2098. https://doi.org/10.1002/2013JA019691