The evolution of nighttime mid-latitude mesoscale F-region structures: A case study utilizing numerical solution of the Perkins instability equations

Qina Zhou, John David Mathews, Clark A. Miller, Ilgin Seker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In recent years, all-sky camera airglow observations of evolving nighttime F-region structures have raised questions regarding the formation and apparent motion of these often wave-like structures. We address these issues using a pseudo-spectral method code developed to numerically solve the Perkins (1973. Spread F and ionospheric currents. J. Geophys. Res. 78, 218-226) moment equations modeling F-region electrodynamics. To aid in interpretation of the results, we utilize a Gaussian shape initial condition of the (geomagnetic field, B, parallel) integrated conductivity under the homogeneous TEC (B-parallel total electron content) condition and a northeastward DC electric field (E-field). We find that the initial Gaussian shape conductivity structure gradually evolves into banded structures oriented along the northwest-southeast direction while the amplitude of the banded structures continues growing and the peak of the structure moves to the northwest due to the E×B drift. The potential distribution corresponding to the initial Gaussian conductivity distribution is more complex but also becomes banded with the same orientation and growing trend as the conductivity. Wave vector domain plots show structure growth in approximately the first and third quadrants and damping in the second and fourth quadrants for both the conductivity and potential, as Perkins predicts-this leads to the orientation of the structures. We note that the evolved banded structures in conductivity and potential are oriented perpendicular to the direction given by half the angle between the DC E-field and east-the direction of maximum instability growth rate predicted by Perkins. The polarization (perturbation) E-field is seen mainly perpendicular to the long axis of the banded structures-i.e., no obvious structure-parallel E-field is observed in the simulation. By tracking the maximum point of the conductivity as a function of time, it is found that the localized structures move northwestward at a nearly constant speed that corresponds to the E×B drift velocity (to within relative errors on the direction and magnitude of ≃4%). We also note that the E×B drift velocity has a dominant effect on the speed and propagation direction of the wave-like bands. The "wave" velocity is the projection of the E×B drift velocity on the line perpendicular to the wave front. Thus, the movement of a northwest-southeast oriented band can be decomposed into two components-parallel (to the band, northwestward) and perpendicular (southwestward) motions. A preliminary comparison of these results with an Arecibo all-sky camera observations shows good agreement.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)710-718
    Number of pages9
    JournalPlanetary and Space Science
    Volume54
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

    Fingerprint

    F region
    conductivity
    electric field
    electric fields
    quadrants
    sky
    direct current
    cameras
    ionospheric currents
    spread F
    airglow
    electrodynamics
    spectral methods
    geomagnetism
    wave fronts
    geomagnetic field
    damping
    wave velocity
    aid
    polarization

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Geophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Cite this

    @article{e324381e7719400f8daa305aa18d361f,
    title = "The evolution of nighttime mid-latitude mesoscale F-region structures: A case study utilizing numerical solution of the Perkins instability equations",
    abstract = "In recent years, all-sky camera airglow observations of evolving nighttime F-region structures have raised questions regarding the formation and apparent motion of these often wave-like structures. We address these issues using a pseudo-spectral method code developed to numerically solve the Perkins (1973. Spread F and ionospheric currents. J. Geophys. Res. 78, 218-226) moment equations modeling F-region electrodynamics. To aid in interpretation of the results, we utilize a Gaussian shape initial condition of the (geomagnetic field, B, parallel) integrated conductivity under the homogeneous TEC (B-parallel total electron content) condition and a northeastward DC electric field (E-field). We find that the initial Gaussian shape conductivity structure gradually evolves into banded structures oriented along the northwest-southeast direction while the amplitude of the banded structures continues growing and the peak of the structure moves to the northwest due to the E×B drift. The potential distribution corresponding to the initial Gaussian conductivity distribution is more complex but also becomes banded with the same orientation and growing trend as the conductivity. Wave vector domain plots show structure growth in approximately the first and third quadrants and damping in the second and fourth quadrants for both the conductivity and potential, as Perkins predicts-this leads to the orientation of the structures. We note that the evolved banded structures in conductivity and potential are oriented perpendicular to the direction given by half the angle between the DC E-field and east-the direction of maximum instability growth rate predicted by Perkins. The polarization (perturbation) E-field is seen mainly perpendicular to the long axis of the banded structures-i.e., no obvious structure-parallel E-field is observed in the simulation. By tracking the maximum point of the conductivity as a function of time, it is found that the localized structures move northwestward at a nearly constant speed that corresponds to the E×B drift velocity (to within relative errors on the direction and magnitude of ≃4{\%}). We also note that the E×B drift velocity has a dominant effect on the speed and propagation direction of the wave-like bands. The {"}wave{"} velocity is the projection of the E×B drift velocity on the line perpendicular to the wave front. Thus, the movement of a northwest-southeast oriented band can be decomposed into two components-parallel (to the band, northwestward) and perpendicular (southwestward) motions. A preliminary comparison of these results with an Arecibo all-sky camera observations shows good agreement.",
    author = "Qina Zhou and Mathews, {John David} and Miller, {Clark A.} and Ilgin Seker",
    year = "2006",
    month = "7",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1016/j.pss.2006.03.005",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "54",
    pages = "710--718",
    journal = "Planetary and Space Science",
    issn = "0032-0633",
    publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
    number = "7",

    }

    The evolution of nighttime mid-latitude mesoscale F-region structures : A case study utilizing numerical solution of the Perkins instability equations. / Zhou, Qina; Mathews, John David; Miller, Clark A.; Seker, Ilgin.

    In: Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 54, No. 7, 01.07.2006, p. 710-718.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The evolution of nighttime mid-latitude mesoscale F-region structures

    T2 - A case study utilizing numerical solution of the Perkins instability equations

    AU - Zhou, Qina

    AU - Mathews, John David

    AU - Miller, Clark A.

    AU - Seker, Ilgin

    PY - 2006/7/1

    Y1 - 2006/7/1

    N2 - In recent years, all-sky camera airglow observations of evolving nighttime F-region structures have raised questions regarding the formation and apparent motion of these often wave-like structures. We address these issues using a pseudo-spectral method code developed to numerically solve the Perkins (1973. Spread F and ionospheric currents. J. Geophys. Res. 78, 218-226) moment equations modeling F-region electrodynamics. To aid in interpretation of the results, we utilize a Gaussian shape initial condition of the (geomagnetic field, B, parallel) integrated conductivity under the homogeneous TEC (B-parallel total electron content) condition and a northeastward DC electric field (E-field). We find that the initial Gaussian shape conductivity structure gradually evolves into banded structures oriented along the northwest-southeast direction while the amplitude of the banded structures continues growing and the peak of the structure moves to the northwest due to the E×B drift. The potential distribution corresponding to the initial Gaussian conductivity distribution is more complex but also becomes banded with the same orientation and growing trend as the conductivity. Wave vector domain plots show structure growth in approximately the first and third quadrants and damping in the second and fourth quadrants for both the conductivity and potential, as Perkins predicts-this leads to the orientation of the structures. We note that the evolved banded structures in conductivity and potential are oriented perpendicular to the direction given by half the angle between the DC E-field and east-the direction of maximum instability growth rate predicted by Perkins. The polarization (perturbation) E-field is seen mainly perpendicular to the long axis of the banded structures-i.e., no obvious structure-parallel E-field is observed in the simulation. By tracking the maximum point of the conductivity as a function of time, it is found that the localized structures move northwestward at a nearly constant speed that corresponds to the E×B drift velocity (to within relative errors on the direction and magnitude of ≃4%). We also note that the E×B drift velocity has a dominant effect on the speed and propagation direction of the wave-like bands. The "wave" velocity is the projection of the E×B drift velocity on the line perpendicular to the wave front. Thus, the movement of a northwest-southeast oriented band can be decomposed into two components-parallel (to the band, northwestward) and perpendicular (southwestward) motions. A preliminary comparison of these results with an Arecibo all-sky camera observations shows good agreement.

    AB - In recent years, all-sky camera airglow observations of evolving nighttime F-region structures have raised questions regarding the formation and apparent motion of these often wave-like structures. We address these issues using a pseudo-spectral method code developed to numerically solve the Perkins (1973. Spread F and ionospheric currents. J. Geophys. Res. 78, 218-226) moment equations modeling F-region electrodynamics. To aid in interpretation of the results, we utilize a Gaussian shape initial condition of the (geomagnetic field, B, parallel) integrated conductivity under the homogeneous TEC (B-parallel total electron content) condition and a northeastward DC electric field (E-field). We find that the initial Gaussian shape conductivity structure gradually evolves into banded structures oriented along the northwest-southeast direction while the amplitude of the banded structures continues growing and the peak of the structure moves to the northwest due to the E×B drift. The potential distribution corresponding to the initial Gaussian conductivity distribution is more complex but also becomes banded with the same orientation and growing trend as the conductivity. Wave vector domain plots show structure growth in approximately the first and third quadrants and damping in the second and fourth quadrants for both the conductivity and potential, as Perkins predicts-this leads to the orientation of the structures. We note that the evolved banded structures in conductivity and potential are oriented perpendicular to the direction given by half the angle between the DC E-field and east-the direction of maximum instability growth rate predicted by Perkins. The polarization (perturbation) E-field is seen mainly perpendicular to the long axis of the banded structures-i.e., no obvious structure-parallel E-field is observed in the simulation. By tracking the maximum point of the conductivity as a function of time, it is found that the localized structures move northwestward at a nearly constant speed that corresponds to the E×B drift velocity (to within relative errors on the direction and magnitude of ≃4%). We also note that the E×B drift velocity has a dominant effect on the speed and propagation direction of the wave-like bands. The "wave" velocity is the projection of the E×B drift velocity on the line perpendicular to the wave front. Thus, the movement of a northwest-southeast oriented band can be decomposed into two components-parallel (to the band, northwestward) and perpendicular (southwestward) motions. A preliminary comparison of these results with an Arecibo all-sky camera observations shows good agreement.

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33744979984&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33744979984&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1016/j.pss.2006.03.005

    DO - 10.1016/j.pss.2006.03.005

    M3 - Article

    AN - SCOPUS:33744979984

    VL - 54

    SP - 710

    EP - 718

    JO - Planetary and Space Science

    JF - Planetary and Space Science

    SN - 0032-0633

    IS - 7

    ER -