Very low frequency electromagnetic phenomena: ‘whistlers’ and micropulsations

Observations of natural electromagnetic phenomena, embracing frequencies ranging from millihertz to tens of kilohertz, have made a major contribution to our knowledge of the terrestrial environment extending out to many Earth’s radii. The Antarctic has offered exceptional opportunities in this field for a number of reasons, including: (i) the location of Antarctic bases (including Halley Bay) at key magnetic latitudes, (ii) magnetic conjugacy to Northern Hemisphere thunderstorm sources, (iii) low interference levels. Important aspects of this research are the investigation of the role of wave-particle interactions in the magnetosphere and that of the structure and dynamical behaviour of the plasmapause, using both passive and active techniques. Comparisons of observations made at antarctic stations and their northern geomagnetic conjugates show close similarities in dominant pulsation periods and demonstrate the uniqueness of the Weddell Sea area in relation to magnetospheric wave amplification at the higher frequencies. An extra dimension to this work is being added, during the International Magnetospheric Study (1976-8), through the development of a chain of stations employing the goniometer (direction-finding) technique pioneered at Halley Bay by Sheffield University.


Publication status:
Authors: Kaiser, T.R., Orr, D., Smith, A.J.

1 January, 1977
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences / 279
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