On the electrical structure of airglow depletion/height layer bands over Arecibo

Michael C. Kelley, Jonathan J. Makela, Akinori Saito, Nestor Aponte, Michael Sulzer, Sixto A. González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a combination of airglow images and incoherent scatter radar data, we have explored the electrical structure of the airglow depleted, height layer bands over a mid-latitude site. We find a reproducible electrical signature in both components of the electric field in all events studied. The most pronounced feature is a large northward/upward electric field in the heart of the structure. The latter is identical to the radially outward field reported for mid-latitude conjugate electric fields [Saito et al., 1995], found to trace the poleward edge of the equatorial anomaly. We favorably compare the Arecibo drift to a typical satellite event. These electric fields may reflect a nonlinear evolved state of the Perkins instability or some, as yet, unexplained coupling between atmospheric motion and the plasma embedded in it. We show here that the F-region Pedersen conductivity is much lower in these structures than outside and suggest that this is related to a polarization electric field inside the structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2837-2840
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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