A case study of correspondence between Pc1 activity and ionospheric irregularities at polar latitudes

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A possible driver of precipitation of magnetospheric energetic electrons in the high-latitude atmosphere is represented by electromagnetic ion-cyclotron (EMIC) magnetospheric waves. The precipitating particles produce variations, by collision, in the ionized component of the atmosphere, altering its chemistry and electrical conductivity, with a significant impact on the atmospheric processes. In this framework, it would be significant to find experimental evidence of a correspondence between ionospheric electron density irregularities and the occurrence of Ultra-Low-Frequency (ULF) Pc1 geomagnetic pulsations, i.e., the ground signatures of EMIC waves, at high latitudes. In this work, we face this subject by considering a specific case study occurred on 22 February 2007 during quiet magnetospheric conditions. The study is based on the analysis of simultaneous ULF geomagnetic field and Total Electron Content (TEC) measurements recorded at Mario Zucchelli Station in Antarctica. We show that Pc1 pulsations occur in correspondence to solar wind pressure increases and that, at the same time, the ionosphere is characterized by the presence of ionospheric irregularities. We suggest that a possible link between the Pc1 activity and the ionospheric irregularities may be energetic electron precipitations, driven by EMIC waves generated in the compressed magnetosphere, which produce density variations in the ionized component of the atmosphere. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].




Francia, P., Regi, M., De Lauretis, M., Pezzopane, M., Cesaroni, C., Spogli, L., & Raita, T. (2020). A case study of correspondence between Pc1 activity and ionospheric irregularities at polar latitudes. Earth, Planets and Space, 72(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-020-01184-4

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