Articles | Volume 33, issue 1
Regular paper
28 Jan 2015
Regular paper |  | 28 Jan 2015

Pc2-3 geomagnetic pulsations on the ground, in the ionosphere, and in the magnetosphere: MM100, CHAMP, and THEMIS observations

N. Yagova, B. Heilig, and E. Fedorov

Abstract. We analyze Pc2-3 pulsations recorded by the CHAMP (CHAllenging Minisatellite Payload) satellite in the F layer of the Earth's ionosphere, on the ground, and in the magnetosphere during quiet geomagnetic conditions. The spectra of Pc2-3 pulsations recorded in the F layer are enriched with frequencies above 50 mHz in comparison to the ground Pc2-3 spectra. These frequencies are higher than the fundamental harmonics of the field line resonances in the magnetosphere. High quality signals with dominant frequencies 70–200 mHz are a regular phenomenon in the F layer and in the magnetosphere. The mean latitude of the maximum Pc2-3 occurrence rate lies at L ≈ 3.5 in the F layer, i.e., inside the plasmasphere. Day-to-day variations of the L value of the CHAMP Pc2-3 occurrence rate maximum follow the plasmapause day-to-day variations. Polarization and amplitude of Pc2-3s in the magnetosphere, in the ionosphere, and on the ground allow us to suggest that they are generated as fast magnetosonic (FMS) waves in the outer magnetosphere and are partly converted into shear Alfven waves near the plasmapause. The observed ground-to-ionosphere amplitude ratio during the night is interpreted as a result of the Alfven wave transmission through the ionosphere. The problem of wave transmission through the ionosphere is solved theoretically by means of a numerical solution of the full-wave equation for the Alfven wave reflection from and transmission through a horizontally stratified ionosphere. The best agreement between the calculated and measured values of the ground-to-ionosphere amplitude ratio is found for k = 5 × 10−3 km−1, i.e., the observed ground-to-ionosphere amplitude ratio corresponds to a wave spatial scale which could provide a Doppler shift within a few percent of the apparent frequency of the Pc2-3 pulsations as recorded by a low-orbiting spacecraft.