The effect of the mid-latitude ionospheric trough on whistler mode ducting during magnetic storms

first_imgWhistler-mode signals observed at Faraday, Antarctica (65° S, 64° W, Λ=50.8°) show anomalous changes in group delay and Doppler shift with time during the main phase of intense geomagnetic activity. These changes are interpreted as the effect of refracting signals into and out of ducts near L=2.5 by electron concentration gradients associated with edges of the mid-latitude ionospheric trough. The refraction region is observed to propagate equatorwards at velocities in the range 20–85 ms−1 during periods of high geomagnetic activity (Kp ≥ 5), which is in good agreement with typical trough velocities. Model estimates of the time that the trough edges come into view from Faraday show a good correlation with the observed start times of the anomalous features. Whistler-mode signals observed at Dunedin, New Zealand (46° S, 171° E, Λ=52.5°) that have propagated at an average L-shell of 2.2 (Λ=47.6°) do not show such trough-related changes in group delay. These observations are consistent with a lower occurrence of the trough at lower invariant latitudeslast_img read more