Articles | Volume 27, issue 9
29 Sep 2009
 | 29 Sep 2009

ULF geomagnetic pulsations at different latitudes in Antarctica

P. Francia, M. De Lauretis, M. Vellante, U. Villante, and A. Piancatelli

Abstract. We present a study aimed to characterize the ULF (1–100 mHz) geomagnetic pulsation activity in the polar cap at different latitudes. We used magnetic measurements obtained through 2005–2007 in Antarctica, at Dome C (89° S corrected geomagnetic latitude) and at Terra Nova Bay (80° S corrected geomagnetic latitude). The results indicate a solar wind control of the wave activity, more important at larger distances from the cusp, as well as a significant role of the local ionospheric conditions. The different position of the two stations, with respect to the cusp and closed field lines, is responsible for the observed different pulsation characteristics. At Terra Nova Bay, due to the approaching of the station to the cusp and closed field lines in the daytime, the ULF power is characterized by a maximum around noon; daytime pulsation events in the Pc5 frequency band are related to the fundamental field line resonances occurring at lower latitudes, while higher harmonics of the fundamental may account for the characteristics of Pc3–4 pulsations. In the nighttime, at Pc3 frequencies, the results suggest waves propagating sunward, possibly due to the transmission of upstream waves from the magnetosheath via the magnetotail lobes. At Dome C, near the geomagnetic pole and very far from closed field lines, the ULF power in any frequency band only shows an enhancement in the postmidnight sector, more pronounced for Pc3 pulsations. The ULF activity appears to be driven by processes occurring in the magnetotail: in particular, nighttime Pc3 pulsation events may be originated from upstream wave penetration through the magnetotail lobes.

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