Worldwide atmospheric gravity-wave study in the European sector 1985–1990

Four campaigns of the Worldwide Atmospheric Gravity-wave Study (WAGS) have taken place in the European sector. On many occasions the onset of auroral activity in the evening and midnight sector, as indicated by EISCAT measurements of the electric field, was associated after a suitable delay with the detection of periodic ionospheric disturbance travelling southward over the U.K. at speeds between 500 and 1000 m s−1. The velocity and wavelength of the TIDs corresponded to large-scale atmospheric gravity-waves. The characteristic periods of the travelling disturbances were similar to the intrinsic time scales of the auroral activity for periods of 40 min or more, but variations on a time scale of 20 min or less were strongly attenuated. The r.m.s. amplitude of the auroral electric field was proportional to the r.m.s. amplitude of the HF Doppler-shift associated with the gravity-wave. The time-lag between the onset of strong auroral activity and the arrival of the travelling disturbance over the U.K. was usually about an hour, suggesting a source region about 2000 km north. Similar levels of activity in the afternoon did not appear to produce strong waves in the far field. This is possibly due to ion-drag in the daytime ionosphere although the effects of the lower sensitivity of the HF Doppler-network during daytime must also be considered.


Publication status:
Authors: Williams, P.J.S., Virdi, T.S., Lewis, R.V., Lester, M., Rodger, A.S., McCrea, I.W., Freeman, K.S.C.

1 January, 1993
Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics / 55
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