Articles | Volume 23, issue 3
30 Mar 2005
 | 30 Mar 2005

A possible origin for large aspect angle "HAIR'' echoes seen by SuperDARN radars in the E region

J. Drexler and J.-P. St.-Maurice

Abstract. Milan2004 have recently reported on close-range E region decameter size echoes that seem to be relatively weak, have apparently unusually large aspect angles, and possess Doppler shifts that are slow and are clearly consistent with the ion drift of the medium as opposed to, say, its electron drift or its ion-acoustic speed. We argue that these irregularities are the result of a nonlinear wave conversion process triggered by the nonlocal evolution of decameter Farley-Buneman waves. According to this picture, structures which have weak spontaneous growth rates and are initially field-aligned undergo an evolution of their aspect angle that results in a jump in the aspect angle at some point in time and space. When this takes place, a rapid mode conversion must follow, which takes energy away from a standard two-stream signature and converts it either to a strongly damped ion-acoustic mode or to a purely decaying mode, depending on altitude.