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Radio Science

Gravity wave parameters derived from traveling ionospheric disturbances observations in the auroral zone


  • L. Natorf,

  • K. Schlegel,

  • A. W. Wernik


Large-scale wavelike fluctuations of ion velocity, as measured by the European incoherent scatter radar along the geomagnetic field line, have been attributed to gravity wave effects. The height-dependent parameters of the causative gravity waves are calculated, taking into account the neutral horizontal wind and the electric field. The results are compared with the solutions of a dissipative dispersion relation. Much better agreement is achieved for the imaginary part of the vertical wave vector than for its real part. The calculated wave damping is greater than that given by theory. The possible reasons for this are discussed. It is suggested that E × B drift of the ions and vertical neutral winds, which are characteristic features of the auroral zone ionosphere, may contribute to the observed discrepancies.

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