New Paper by Miguel Larsen and Collaborators

March 12, 2019

Miguel Larsen and collaborators recently published a paper in Nature Communications titled, “Major upwelling and overturning in the mid-latitude F region ionosphere“.

The sensitivity of the large antenna and high transmitter power of the Arecibo Observatory radar allows them to observe dynamical structure in the upper ionosphere with unparalleled temporal and spatial resolution. The observations described in the paper show the presence of plasma turbulence at heights where conventional theory predicts that such structure should not be able to exist. Using a numerical model they were able to show that the instabilities responsible for the structure are driven by a combination of neutral and plasma dynamics that occurs much lower in the ionosphere but is connected to the higher altitudes via the Earth’s magnetic field lines. The structuring and overturning associated with the phenomenon has implications for our understanding of the physics of the region, as well as some practical implications for satellites and and radio communications that operate in or pass through that region.

Read more about this work at
Hysell, D., Larsen, M., Fritts, D., Laughman, B., & Sulzer, M., Nature Communications, (2018) 9: 3326



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