Whistler duct structure and formation

Whistler components received by the VLF goniometer at Halley, Antarctica, have been scaled for nose frequency and direction of arrival. The data were taken from two separate one hour periods on either side of local midnight (0023–0133 UT and 0340–0450 UT, 5 June 1975). Because of the high whistler occurrence rate at this time and the rapid processing facilitated by the Sheffield semi-automated whistler analyser, it has been possible to scale 1850 whistler components and hence obtain high resolution mapping of the whistler duct structure. The number of observable ducts increased from 4 at 0030 UT to about 15 at 0130 UT and had reached about 31 by 0400 UT. This increasing number of ducts together with an observed clustering of ducts in the second one hour period, provides evidence for duct formation. The observations have been compared with the various duct generation mechanisms which have been proposed. The duct formation process may have been associated with a negative change in Dst which occurred at the same time, and this possibility is discussed.


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Authors: Lester, M., Smith, A.J.

1 January, 1980
Planetary and Space Science / 28
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