Kilometer-Scale layered structures inside spread-F

J. D. Mathews, S. González, M. P. Sulzer, Q. H. Zhou, J. Urbina, E. Kudeki, S. Franke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the first incoherent scatter radar observations-made at Arecibo Observatory-of remarkable bottom-side (<280 km) F-region sheet-like plasma structures with horizontal/vertical-scales of∼<1 km. These structures are an apparent manifestation of spread-F, appear to give rise to VHF coherent (FAI) scattering, and are clearly electrodynamic in origin involving a form of the Perkins spread-F instability process in the presence of relatively large E-fields and horizontal plasma gradients. The net instability process appears to be associated with downwelling features characteristic of the nighttime F-region. These structures-that may be self-similar on scales of ∼1-100 km-indicate considerable electrodynamic activity in the mid-latitude F-region on scales that have profound space-weather implications especially regarding deep scintillations on earth-space communications links.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4167-4170
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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