Articles | Volume 19, issue 7
31 Jul 2001
 | 31 Jul 2001

SuperDARN convection and Sondrestrom plasma drift

L. Xu, A. V. Koustov, J. Thayer, and M. A. McCready

Abstract. Plasma convection measurements by the Goose Bay and Stokkseyri SuperDARN radar pair and the Sondrestrom incoherent scatter radar are compared in three different ways, by looking at the line-of-sight (l-o-s) velocities, by comparing the SuperDARN vectors and corresponding Sondrestrom l-o-s velocities and by comparing the end products of the instruments, the convection maps. All three comparisons show overall reasonable agreement of the convection measurements though the data spread is significant and for some points a strong disagreement is obvious. The convection map comparison shows a tendency for the SuperDARN velocities to be often less than the Sondrestrom drifts for strong flows (velocities > 1000 m/s) and larger for weak flows (velocities < 500 m/s). On average, both effects do not exceed 35%. Data indicate that inconsistencies between the two data sets occur largely at times of fast temporal variations of the plasma drift and for strongly irregular flow ac-cording to the SuperDARN convection maps. These facts indicate that the observed discrepancies are in many cases a result of the different spatial and temporal resolutions of the instruments.

Key words. Ionosphere (ionospheric irregularities; plasma convection; polar ionosphere)