Articles | Volume 27, issue 8
26 Aug 2009
 | 26 Aug 2009

Characterization of ultra low frequency (ULF) pulsations and the investigation of their possible source

S. H. Mthembu, S. B. Malinga, A. D. M. Walker, and L. Magnus

Abstract. In this paper we present the results from the observation of ultra low frequency (ULF) pulsations in the Doppler velocity data from SuperDARN HF radar located at Goose Bay (61.94° N, 23.02° E, geomagnetic). Fourier spectral techniques were used to determine the spectral content of the data and the results show Pc 5 ULF pulsations (with a frequency range of 1 to 4 mHz) where the magnetic field lines were oscillating at discrete frequencies of about 1.3 and 1.9 mHz. These pulsations are classified as field lines resonance (FLR) since the 1.9 mHz component exhibited an enhancement in amplitude with an associated phase change of approximately 180° across a resonance latitude of 71.3°. The spatial and temporal structure of the ULF pulsations was examined by investigating their instantaneous amplitude which was calculated as the amplitude of the analytic signal. The results presented a full field of view which exhibit pulsations activity simultaneously from all beams. This representation shows that the peak amplitude of the 1.9 mHz component was observed over the longitudinal range of 13°. The temporal structure of the pulsations was investigated from the evolution of the 1.9 mHz component and the results showed that the ULF pulsations had a duration of about 1 h. Wavelet analysis was used to investigate solar wind as a probable source of the observed ULF pulsations. The time delay compared well with the solar wind travel time estimates and the results suggest a possible link between the solar wind and the observed pulsations. The sudden change in dynamic pressure also proved to be a possible source of the observed ULF pulsations.