13 May 2022
13 May 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Multi-instrument observations of polar cap patches and traveling ionospheric disturbances generated by solar wind Alfvén waves coupling to the dayside magnetosphere

Paul Prikryl1, Robert G. Gillies2, David R. Themens1,3, James M. Weygand4, Evan G. Thomas5, and Shibaji Chakraborty6 Paul Prikryl et al.
  • 1Physics Department, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3, Canada
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • 3School of Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  • 4Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 5Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
  • 6Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Abstract. During minor to moderate geomagnetic storms, caused by corotating interaction regions at the leading edge of high-speed streams, solar wind Alfvén waves modulated the magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause. The Resolute Bay Incoherent Scatter Radars (RISR-C and RISR-N), measuring plasma parameters in the cusp and polar cap, observed ionospheric signatures of flux transfer events that resulted in the formation of polar cap patches. The patches were observed as they moved over the RISR, and the Canadian High-Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN) ionosondes and GPS receivers. The coupling process modulated the ionospheric convection and the intensity of ionospheric currents, including the auroral electrojets. The horizontal equivalent ionospheric currents are estimated from ground-based magnetometer data using an inversion technique. Pulses of ionospheric currents that are a source of Joule heating in the lower thermosphere launched atmospheric gravity waves, causing traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) that propagated equatorward. TIDs were observed in the SuperDual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) HF radar ground scatter and the detrended total electron content measured by globally distributed Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers.

Paul Prikryl et al.

Status: open (until 17 Jul 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2022-14', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Jun 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on angeo-2022-14', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Jun 2022 reply

Paul Prikryl et al.

Paul Prikryl et al.


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Short summary
Solar wind Alfvén waves coupling to the dayside magnetosphere produced ionospheric density patches in the polar cap and modulated auroral electrojet currents that launched traveling ionospheric disturbances propagating in the mid latitudes. Ionospheric signatures of magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetosphere, density patches in the polar cap, ionospheric currents and traveling ionospheric disturbances were observed by radars, ionosondes, ground magnetometers, and GPS receivers.