Strange VLF bursts in northern Scandinavia: case study of the afternoon "mushroom-like" hiss on 8 December 2013
Abstract. We investigate a non-typical very low frequency (VLF) 1–4 kHz hiss representing a sequence of separated noise bursts with a strange "mushroom-like" shape in the frequency–time domain, each one lasting several minutes. These strange afternoon VLF emissions were recorded at Kannuslehto (KAN, ϕ = 67.74° N, λ = 26.27° E; L ∼ 5.5) in northern Finland during the late recovery phase of the small magnetic storm on 8 December 2013. The left-hand (LH) polarized 2–3 kHz "mushroom caps" were clearly separated from the right-hand (RH) polarized "mushroom stems" at the frequency of about 1.8–1.9 kHz, which could match the lower ionosphere waveguide cutoff (the first transverse resonance of the Earth–ionosphere cavity). We hypothesize that this VLF burst sequence could be a result of the modulation of the VLF hiss electron–cyclotron instability from the strong Pc5 geomagnetic pulsations observed simultaneously at ground-based stations as well as in the inner magnetosphere by the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms mission probe (THEMIS-E; ThE). This assumption is confirmed by a similar modulation of the intensity of the energetic (1–10 keV) electrons simultaneously observed by the same ThE spacecraft. In addition, the data of the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) radar at Tromsø show a similar quasi-periodicity in the ratio of the Hall-to-Pedersen conductance, which may be used as a proxy for the energetic particle precipitation enhancement. Our findings suggest that this strange mushroom-like shape of the considered VLF hiss could be a combined mutual effect of the magnetospheric ULF–VLF (ultra low frequency–very low frequency) wave interaction and the ionosphere waveguide propagation.