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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 6
Ann. Geophys., 14, 647-658, 1996
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-996-0647-9
© European Geosciences Union 1996
Ann. Geophys., 14, 647-658, 1996
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-996-0647-9
© European Geosciences Union 1996

  30 Jun 1996

30 Jun 1996

A determination of the hydromagnetic waves polarization from their perturbations on the terminator

L. Alperovich, B. Fidel, and O. Saka L. Alperovich et al.

Abstract. The influence of the homogeneous and inhomogeneous ionosphere on the orientation angle of the horizontal magnetic vectors of the long-time geomagnetic pulsations is under consideration in this study. It was realized that this angle is small in the case of the homogeneous ionosphere for both the Alfvén  and magnetosonic types of oscillations. An increase in the ionospheric electric field was discovered as the ionospheric conductivity changes during the switch from day to night conditions. It is valid only for the initial Alfvén wave. The ionospheric equivalent current systems excited by the initial magnetospheric waves of Alfvén  and magnetosonic types as well as their behavior near the terminator were studied for different seasons. For the Alfvén source, seasonal variations of the orientation angle close to sunrise at the equator depend on the type of source: odd or even modes of Alfvén oscillations excite observable pulsations. It was found that the ionospheric two-vortex equivalent current system of the long-period pulsations arising in high-latitudes in the equatorial region alters not only its direction, but its intensity too. The largest anomaly (~25% of the source value) would be expected near the terminator. A new experimental method was suggested to recognize the type of incident magnetospheric waves by implementing observations either at a single observatory or at a couple of observatories. In the case of a single observatory it is proposed to study the frequency dependence of the orientation angle of their magnetic components close to sunrise. If the initial wave is magnetosonic, this angle must not be changed as a function of the local time within the wide frequency range of pulsations. When pulsations have an orientation angle sensitive to the presence of the terminator, they may be classified as both Alfvén and magnetosonic. For the Alfvén waves no frequency dependence of the orientational angle is peculiar. On the contrary, magnetosonic waves should be determined as oscillations with an orientational angle proportional to the frequency. These oscillations may be revealed at observatories located on the high-resistance cross sections. The example of the spectral-temporal analysis of pulsation at the equatorial observatory in Huancayo was demonstrated to confirm the proposed experimental technique. A weak dependence of the orientation angle anomaly on the frequency near the terminator was found. The latter is evidence for the dominant contribution of the Alfvén waves to low-latitude and equatorial oscillations.

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