We present high‐resolution Resolute Bay Incoherent Scatter Radar (RISR) measurements in the cusp region during an IMF southward turning. The simultaneous RISR‐N and RISR‐C operation provided 3‐D observations of the dayside polar region, and offered an opportunity to identify the cusp dynamics and polar cap patch formation. Associated with the IMF southward turning, the F‐region density and temperature increased in the cusp, and the increase was particularly evident in the topside ionosphere. The high‐density plasma drifted into the polar cap by an enhanced poleward convection, and became a polar cap patch. The patch plasma was initially dominated by density originating in the cusp, and then later the subauroral ionospheric plasma also contributed to the density enhancement. Weak upflows were present but their contribution within the RISR altitude range was minor. We suggest that the patch source region switches due to dynamic variations of the cusp precipitation and convection from lower latitudes. RISR also detected a flow vortex embedded in the large‐scale convection, which is likely a poleward moving auroral form (PMAF) signature. Joule heating peaked in the cusp E and lower F‐regions. The F‐region Pedersen conductivity increased more than the Hall conductivity, and the high conductivity region extended poleward associated with the patch density enhancement. A 1‐D cusp simulation reproduced the density and temperature enhancements by soft electron precipitation, indicating the importance of soft electron precipitation for the cusp dynamics and the initial part of the patch formation.
Joule heating deposits a significant amount of energy into the high‐latitude ionosphere and is an important factor in many magnetosphere‐ionosphere‐thermosphere coupling processes. We consider the relationship between localized temperature enhancements in polar cap measured with the Resolute Bay Incoherent Scatter Radar‐North (RISR‐N) and the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Based on analysis of 10 years of data, RISR‐N most commonly observes ion heating in the noon sector under northwards IMF
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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