Longitudinal characteristics of spread F backscatter plumes observed with the EAR and Sanya VHF radar in Southeast Asia

Authors

  • Guozhu Li,

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Ionospheric Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. Beijing National Observatory of Space Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    • Corresponding author: G. Li, Key Laboratory of Ionospheric Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China. (gzlee@mail.iggcas.ac.cn)

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  • Baiqi Ning,

    1. Key Laboratory of Ionospheric Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. Beijing National Observatory of Space Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • M. A. Abdu,

    1. Divisão de Aeronomia, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Yuchi Otsuka,

    1. Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
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  • T. Yokoyama,

    1. National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan
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  • M. Yamamoto,

    1. Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Uji, Japan
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  • Libo Liu

    1. Key Laboratory of Ionospheric Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

[1] The development of equatorial plasma irregularity plumes can be well recorded by steerable backscatter radars operated at and off the magnetic equator due to the fact that the vertically extended plume structures are tracers of magnetically north-south aligned larger scale structures. From observations during March 2012, using two low latitude steerable backscatter radars in Southeast Asia, the Equatorial Atmosphere Radar (EAR) (0.2°S, 100.3°E; dip lat 10.4°S) and the Sanya VHF radar (18.4°N, 109.6°E; dip lat 12.8°N), the characteristics of backscatter plumes over the two sites separated in longitude by ~1000 km were simultaneously investigated. The beam steering measurements reveal frequent occurrences of multiple plumes over both radar sites, of which two cases are analyzed here. The observations on 30 March 2012 show plume structures initiated within the radar scanned area, followed by others drifting from the west of the radar beam over both stations. A tracing analysis on the onset locations of plasma plumes reveals spatially well-separated backscatter plumes, with a maximum east-west wavelength of about 1000 km, periodically generated in longitudes between 85°E and 110°E. The postsunset backscatter plumes seen by the Sanya VHF radar are found to be due to the passage of sunset plumes initiated around the longitude of EAR. Most interestingly, the EAR measurements on the night of 21 March 2012 show multiple plume structures that developed successively in the radar scanned area with east-west separation of ~50 km, with however no sunset plasma plume over Sanya. Colocated ionogram measurements show that spread F irregularities occurred mainly in the bottomside F region at Sanya, whereas satellite traces in ionograms that are indications of large-scale wave structures were observed on that night at both stations. Possible causes for the longitudinal difference in the characteristics of radar backscatter plumes are discussed.

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