Articles | Volume 26, issue 12
26 Nov 2008
 | 26 Nov 2008

The role of electric field and neutral wind in the generation of polar cap sporadic E

T. Nygrén, M. Voiculescu, and A. T. Aikio

Abstract. This paper investigates the roles of electric field and neutral wind in the generation of sporadic-E layers within the polar cap. Two Es layers above Svalbard, observed by the EISCAT Svalbard Radar (ESR), were chosen for investigation. The radar experiment contains four beam directions, and this was used for determining the electric field. The neutral wind was obtained from the HWM93 model. Formation of Es layers was calculated by integrating the continuity equation under the action of driving forces due to neutral wind and electric field. A flat height profile of metal ions was assumed in the beginning. The calculation gives the time variation of the layer, which can be compared with observations. In one case the electric field was shown to be the main driving agent in layer generation. In the other case the electric field was weak and the layer was produced mainly by the neutral wind, but the electric field had influence on the height of the layer. A fairly good agreement between the variations of the observed and calculated layer altitudes was obtained and some agreement between the intensity variations was also found.