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Authors: Burston, R.* 
Astin, I.* 
Mitchell, C.* 
Alfonsi, Lu.* 
Pedersen, T.* 
Skone, S.* 
Title: Turbulent Times in the Northern Polar Ionosphere?
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research AGU
Issue Date: Dec-2009
Keywords: polar cap patches
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.04. Plasma Physics 
05. General::05.07. Space and Planetary sciences::05.07.02. Space weather 
Abstract: A model is presented of the growth rate of turbulently generated irregularities in the electron concentration of northern polar cap plasma patches. The turbulence is generated by the short-term fluctuations in the electric field imposed on the polar-cap ionosphere by electric field mapping from the magnetosphere. The model uses an ionospheric imaging algorithm to specify the state of the ionosphere, throughout. The growth rates are used to estimate mean amplitudes for the irregularities and these mean amplitudes are compared with observations of the scintillation indices, S4 and бø, by calculating the linear correlation co-efficients between them. The scintillation data are recorded by GPS L1 band receivers stationed at high northern latitudes. A total of 13 days are analysed, covering four separate magnetic storm periods. These results are compared with those from a similar model of the Gradient Drift Instability (GDI) growth rate. Over-all, the results show better correlation between the GDI process and the scintillation indices than for the turbulence process and the scintillation indices. Two storms, however, show approximately equally good correlations for both processes, indicating that there might be times when the turbulence process of irregularity formation on plasma patches may be the controlling one.
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