D-Region High-Latitude Forcing Factors

Edith L. Macotela, Mark Clilverd, Jyrki Manninen, Tracy Moffat-Griffin, David A. Newnham, Tero Raita, Craig J. Rodger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


The subionospheric very low frequency (VLF) radio wave technique provides the possibility of investigating the response of the ionospheric D-region to a diversity of transient and long-term physical phenomena originating from above (e.g., energetic particle precipitation) and from below (e.g., atmospheric waves). In this study, we identify the periodicities that appear in VLF measurements and investigate how they may be related to changes in space weather and atmospheric activity. The powerful VLF signal transmitted from NAA (24 kHz) on the east coast of the United States, and received at Sodankylä, Finland, was analyzed. Wavelet transform, wavelet power spectrum, wavelet coherence, and cross-wavelet spectrum were computed for daily averages of selected ionospheric, space weather, and atmospheric parameters from November 2008 until June 2018. Our results show that the significant VLF periods that appear during solar cycle 24 are the annual oscillation, semiannual oscillation, 121-day, 86-day, 61-day, and solar rotation oscillations. We found that the annual oscillation corresponds to variability in mesospheric temperature and solar Lyman-α (Ly-α) flux and the semiannual oscillation to variability in space weather-related parameters. The solar rotation oscillation observed in the VLF variability is mainly related to the Ly-α flux variation at solar maximum and to geomagnetic activity variation during the declining phase of the solar cycle. Our results are important since they strengthen our understanding of the Earth's D-region response to solar and atmospheric forcing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-781
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
E.L.M. was supported by the Suomen Kulttuurirahasto (grant 00170658) and the Tauno Tönningin Säätiö (grant 20170007). D.A.N. and M.A.C. were supported in part by the Natural Environment Research Council (grant NE/J022187/1). Data availability is described at the following websites: http://www.sgo.fi/Data/VLF/VLF.php (AARDDVARK), https://omniweb.gsfc. nasa.gov/form/dx1.html (OMNI database), https://umbra.nascom.nasa. gov/sdb/goes/particle/ (GOES particle), https://mls.jpl.nasa.gov/products/ temp_product.php (EOS MLS), http:// sofie.gats‐inc.com/sofie/index.php (SOFIE AIM).

Publisher Copyright:
©2019. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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