06 Jul 2022
06 Jul 2022

Mid-Latitude Neutral Wind Responses to Sub-Auroral Polarization Streams

Daniel D. Billett1, Kathryn A. McWilliams1, Robert B. Kerr2, Jonathan J. Makela3, Alex T. Chartier4, John M. Ruohoniemi5, Sudha Kapali2, Mike A. Migliozzi2, and Juanita Riccobono2 Daniel D. Billett et al.
  • 1University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
  • 2Computational Physics Inc., Lowel, MA, USA
  • 3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
  • 4Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD, USA
  • 5Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Abstract. We investigate the response of the mid-latitude thermospheric neutral winds to a sub-auroral polarisation stream (SAPS) event. Using red-line (F-region) airglow data from two Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPIs), and F-region ionospheric flow velocities from four Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) radars, the drivers behind changes seen in the neutral winds are explored within the context of the larger SAPS structure. Different, although strong, neutral wind responses to the SAPS are seen at the two FPI sites, even though they are relatively close geographically. We attribute the wind differences to the varying balance of pressure gradient, ion-drag, and Coriolis forces, which ultimately depend on proximity to the SAPS. At the FPI site equatorward of the SAPS, pressure-gradient and Coriolis forces drive the winds equatorward and then westward. At the FPI site co-located with the SAPS, ion-drag is strong and results in the winds surging westward, before turning eastward when becoming influenced by dawnside sunward plasma convection drifts.

Daniel D. Billett et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-593', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Aug 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-593', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Aug 2022

Daniel D. Billett et al.

Daniel D. Billett et al.


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Short summary
Sub-Auroral Polarisation Stream (SAPS) are very fast plasma flows that occur at middle-latitudes, which can affect the atmosphere. In this paper, we use four ground-based radars to get a wide-coverage of SAPS that occurred over the US, along with interferometer cameras in VA and MA to measure winds. The winds are strongly affected, but in different ways, implying that the balance forces on the atmosphere is strongly dependent on proximity to the disturbance.