We analyzed Pc5 (1.7-6.7 mHz) oscillations of ionospheric Doppler plasma velocity observed on a westward pointing beam 3 of the SuperDARN King Salmon HF radar in Alaska during the solar maximum in 2002 and the minimum in 2007. Local time distributions of the ionospheric Pc5 oscillations showed peculiar asymmetric characteristics in both years; that is, the occurrence probability had a maximum around the magnetic midnight, whereas backscatter echoes exhibited almost no oscillation on the dayside. We compared these ionospheric Pc5 events with magnetic field variations on the ground under the radar beam at Pebek and King Salmon and the geostationary ETS-8 satellite at almost conjugate longitude. We found only a few nightside events where both the radar and magnetometers detected similar sinusoidal oscillations. On the other hand, from statistical spectral analyses we found that there were positive correlations between the integrated Pc5 range spectral power of velocity oscillations and the geomagnetic pulsations both on the ground and in geostationary orbit although the pulsation powers were quite low. For these ionospheric Pc5 events, we found that both solar wind bulk flow speed and dynamic pressure showed no correlation with the spectral power and more than half of the Pc5 events were observed when the geomagnetic activities were low as inferred from the AE and Dst indices. These results indicate that the azimuthal Pc5 oscillation in the ionospheric plasma flow does not represent well-known characteristics of Pc5 pulsations driven by solar wind changes. We consider that the nightside occurrence peak of the ionospheric Pc5 oscillation might be related to diurnal changes in the ionospheric conductivity, which controls the amplitude of wave electric fields in the ionosphere. Therefore, the Pc5 wave power distributions obtained by radar observations provide features different from those obtained from magnetic field observations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Space and Planetary Science