Plasma structures of 3-meter type 1 and type 2 irregularities in nighttime midlatitude sporadic e region

Yen Hsyang Chu, Chien Ya Wang

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Although the plausible mechanisms involved in the generation of midlatitude type 1 sporadic E (Es) irregularities have been suggested, rare observational evidence is provided to validate the proposed plasma structure associated with the midlatitude type 1 Es irregularities. In this article, the type 1 echoes observed by the Chung-Li VHF radar located in the equatorial anomalous region are interferometrically analyzed and the corresponding plasma structure of the type 1 irregularities is reconstructed. We find that , the plasma structure has sharp lateral and top and bottom boundaries with thickness of about 1-2 km and horizontal extent of about 3-5 km in E-W direction. Its dimension in N-S direction cannot be resolved by using interferometry technique because of considerably narrow width of expected echoing region in elevation. The observed Doppler velocity of the type 1 echoes can be as low as 220 m/s, substantially smaller than nominal ion acoustic wave speed (about 360 m/s) in Es region. The spatial structure of the concurrent type 2 irregularities is also reconstructed. The result strongly suggests that it be a well-defined thin layer with thickness of 1-2 km and horizontal extent of 9-17 km in E-W direction, very different from that of the type 1 irregularities. The whole structure of type 1 irregularities moves bodily toward east at speed of about 31 m/s, and no vertical displacement of the structure is observed. Although the movement of the layer structure of the type 2 irregularities in E-W direction is indistinct, it descends remarkably at a rate of 10.3 m/s. These features imply that for the present case the factors governing the dynamic behavior of the type 1 and type 2 irregularities are different and independent, irrespective of the fact that the clump of the type 1 irregularities separates from that of concurrent type 2 irregularities only by about 4 km in distance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1447
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA12
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • Interferometry
  • Ionospheric irregularities
  • Plasma waves and instabilities
  • Radar atmosphere physics


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