Flux tube analysis of L-band ionospheric scintillation

Flux tube analysis of L-band ionospheric scintillation 

E. B. Shume,1 A. J. Mannucci,1 M. D. Butala,1 X. Pi,1 and C. E. Valladares2

1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology,Pasadena, California, USA. 2Institute for Scientific Research, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA. 

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH: SPACE PHYSICS, VOL. 118, 3791–3804, doi:10.1002/jgra.50285, 2013

Correspondence to:

E. B. Shume, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.
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Key Points:

• New GPS data provide insights on the present-day crustal deformation of the Peruvian Andes
• We describe the kinematics and boundaries of the Peruvian Forearc Sliver and Subandean retro-shortening rates
• We map a highly heterogeneous interseismic coupling pattern of the Nazca megathrust at the scale of the 2200 km of the Peruvian margin

Abstract:

This manuscript presents magnetic flux tube analysis of L-band signal scintillation
in the nighttime equatorial and low-latitude ionosphere. Residues of the scintillation
index S4 estimated from the L-band signals received from Geostationary Earth Orbit
(GEO) satellites are employed in the analysis. The S4 estimates have been shown to be
associated with simultaneous GPS VTEC variations derived from JPL’s GIPSY-GIM
package. We have applied the wavelet decomposition technique simultaneously on the S4
time series in a flux tube over the equatorial and low-latitude regions. The technique
decomposes the S4 signal to identify the dominant mode of variabilities and the temporal
variations of scintillation-producing irregularities in the context of a flux tube.
Statistically significant regions of the wavelet power spectra considered in our study have mainly shown that (a) dominant plasma irregularities associated with S4 variabilities in a flux tube have periods of about 4 to 15 minutes (horizontal irregularity scales of about 24 to 90 km). These periods match short period gravity waves, (b) scintillation-producing irregularities are anisotropic along the flux tube and in the east-west direction, and (c) the occurrences of scintillation-producing irregularities along the flux tube indicate that the entire flux tube became unstable. However, plasma instability occurrences were not simultaneous in most cases along the flux tube, there were time delays of various orders. Understanding the attributes of L-band scintillation-producing irregularities could be important for developing measures to mitigate L-band signal degradation.

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