Simultaneous observations of a polar cap sporadic-e layer by twin incoherent scatter radars at resolute

Yong Wang, David R. Themens, Cheng Wang, Yu Zhang Ma, Ashton Reimer, Roger Varney, Zan Yang Xing, Qing He Zhang*, P. T. Jayachandran

*Corresponding author for this work

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At high latitudes, the Sporadic-E layer (Es layer) is a common phenomenon but is still poorly understood due to sparse measurements and the difficulty of conventional mechanisms to operate. In this study, an interesting case of polar cap Es layer is first studied by using the twin incoherent scatter radars (northward-looking face of Resolute Incoherent-Scatter Radar and Resolute Incoherent-Scatter Radar-Canada), a Canadian Advanced Digital Ionosonde, and a Magnetometer, all at Resolute, Canada. From several electron density profiles of the twin radars, the horizontal scale of the polar cap Es layer is found to be greater than 350 km. Moreover, the polar cap Es layer is determined to be drifting from the bottom F region (>150 km) to the lower E region. Furthermore, a unique appearance of double polar cap Es layers is observed. As a result, these peculiar signatures inspire a newly proposed process that involves the combination of localized electric fields and gravity waves.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022JA030366
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number6
Early online date23 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants No. 42120104003, 41874170, and 41831072), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project (2020M682163), Stable-Support Scientific Project of China Research Institute of Radiowave Propagation (A132101W02) and the Independent Research of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (Y-KC-JT-00-026). The authors acknowledge the use of northward-looking face of Resolute Incoherent-Scatter Radar (RISR-N) and Resolute Incoherent-Scatter Radar-Canada (RISR-C) data. The Resolute Bay Observatory is a US National Science Foundation (NSF) research station, operated by SRI International. The observatory is home to NSF's RISR-N, and the University of Calgary's RISR-C. We thank the Physics department of the University of New Brunswick for running Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN). Infrastructure funding for the CHAIN was provided by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. Science funding is provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • characteristics
  • mechanisms
  • polar cap ionosphere
  • resolute
  • Sporadic E layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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