Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae Sun, Earth, planets, and planetary systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ann. Geophys., 28, 1299-1306, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
21 Jun 2010
Ion-acoustic solitary waves and spectrally uniform scattering cross section enhancements
J. Ekeberg1, G. Wannberg1, L. Eliasson1, and K. Stasiewicz2,3 1Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden
2Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala, Sweden
3Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Abstract. Spectra measured by incoherent scatter radars are formed predominantly by scattering of the incident signal off ion-acoustic and Langmuir waves in the ionosphere. Occasionally, the upshifted and/or downshifted lines produced by the ion-acoustic waves are enhanced well above thermal levels and referred to as naturally enhanced ion-acoustic lines. In this paper, we study another kind of enhancement, which is spectrally uniform over the whole ion-line, i.e. the up- and downshifted shoulder and the spectral valley in between. Based on observations made with the EISCAT Svalbard radar (ESR) facility, we investigate the transient and spectrally uniform power enhancements, which can be explained by ion-acoustic solitary waves. We use a theory of nonlinear waves in a magnetized plasma to determine the properties of such waves and evaluate their effects on scattered signals measured by ESR. We suggest a new mechanism that can explain backscattered power enhancements by one order of magnitude above the thermal level and show that it is consistent with observations.

Citation: Ekeberg, J., Wannberg, G., Eliasson, L., and Stasiewicz, K.: Ion-acoustic solitary waves and spectrally uniform scattering cross section enhancements, Ann. Geophys., 28, 1299-1306,, 2010.
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