Case studies of coupling between the E and F regions during unstable sporadic-E conditions

Michael C. Kelley, Christos Haldoupis, Michael J. Nicolls, Jonathan J. Makela, Anna Belehaki, Sergei Shalimov, Victor K. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Simultaneous F-region airglow, F-region coherent-scatter radar, and ionosonde observations were made in Greece during the summer sporadic-F season in 2002. In this paper we report on two case studies during which patchy sporadic-F layers were accompanied by midlatitude spread F, coherent VHF radar echoes (including two-stream echoes), and traveling ionospheric disturbances registered by the airglow instrument. We argue that these events give strong evidence that polarization electric fields are built up in the F region and are mapped upward to the F region, creating rising and falling regions in the bottomside plasma. The resulting structure creates conditions for midlatitude spread F, as detected by the ionosonde. This correlation between patchy sporadic F and midlatitude spread F is further supported in a companion paper. Upward coupling of this sort is particularly efficient in regions of F-region plasma uplift and airglow depletion, since the F-region Pedersen conductivity is low which reduces the electrical load on the F-region generator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1447
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA12
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Coherent scatter radar
  • Ionosphere
  • Midlatitude spread F
  • Plasma instabilities
  • Plasma irregularities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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