The project aimed to initiate a new collaboration between the two research groups through a joint study into how energy is dissipated into the upper atmosphere through interaction between the Sun’s magnetic field (IMF) and the Earth’s magnetic field.


Nightside aurora with dominant green northern lights seen from the Kjell Henriksen Observatory near Longyearbyen. Photo: UNIS.

About the project

Part of the Research Council of Norway POLARPROG.

Project number: 246725
Project period: March 2015–December 2019

Norwegian Partner Institution: The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)
Russian Partner Institution: The Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IPE), Moscow

The Multi-Instrument Studies of High Latitude Atmospheric Turbulence and Wave Processes-project aimed to initiate a new collaboration between the two research groups through a joint study into how energy is dissipated into the upper atmosphere through interaction between the Sun’s magnetic field (IMF) and the Earth’s magnetic field. Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) waves and turbulence manifest themselves as periodic fluctuations in the atmospheric signatures of this energy deposition (such as temperature and density changes) and in the Earth’s magnetic field. 

By monitoring the frequency, magnitude and location of the waves on the ground it is possible to investigate the complex plasma processes and interactions happening in the Earth’s ionosphere/magnetosphere system. The most intense wave activity in the ULF frequency range (from fractions of mHz to few Hz) is persistently observed at high latitudes. They are identifiable in ground based instrumentation such as magnetic field monitoring stations (magnetometers), optical equipment and radars. The instrumentation located on Svalbard at Longyearbyen, Barentsburg, Hornsund and Ny-Ålesund thus allows a unique opportunity to study these waves over long time periods at high latitudes.

This connection between the IMF and the Earth’s magnetic fields produces two main areas of interest which have two different physical methods of interaction.  These will be the focus of the collaborative projects. In addition, the project will also involve stays on Svalbard for researchers from IPE as well as joint fieldwork trips to Barentsburg. Researchers from UNIS will travel to IPE for joint workshops.

Figure 1: A schematic showing the different current systems and regions inside the Earth’s magnetosphere. By monitoring changes in the Earth’s upper atmosphere (ionosphere), which is magnetically connected to the magnetosphere, we can understand the process of energy transfer between the two systems (adapted from Kivelson and Russel 1995).

Figure 2: ULF Wave modulated auroral structures seen in the meridian scanning photometer instrument at KHO. The structures move from north to south with a periodicity of 1.63mHz (~10 mins).

Project Publications

Kozyreva, O., V. Pilipenko, D. Lorentzen, L. Baddeley, and M. Hartinger (2019) Transient oscillations near the dayside open-closed boundary: evidence of magnetopause surface mode? Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 124, 9058–9074, doi:10.1029/2018JA025684.

Kozyreva O., V. Pilipenko, R. Krasnoperov, L. Baddeley, Ya. Sakharov, and M. Dobrovolsky (2019) Fine structure of substorm and geomagnetically induced currents, Annals of Geophysics, 62, doi:10.4401/ag-8198.

Martines-Bedenko, V.A., V.A. Pilipenko, M.D. Hartinger, M.J. Engebretson, D.A. Lorentzen, and A.N. Willer, Correspondence between the latitudinal ULF wave power distribution and auroral oval in conjugate ionospheres, Sun and Geosphere, 13/1, 41-47, 2018.

Pilipenko, V.A., O.V. Kozyreva, D.A. Lorentzen, and L.J. Baddeley, The correspondence between dayside long-period geomagnetic pulsations and the open-closed field line boundary, J. Atmospheric Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 2018, doi: 10.1016/j.jastp.2018.02.012.

Pilipenko, V., O. Kozyreva, L. Baddeley, D. Lorentzen, and V. Belakhovsky, Suppression of the dayside magnetopause surface modes, Journal Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 3, N4, 17–25, doi:10.12737/stp-34201702. 2017.

Baddeley, L. J., D. A. Lorentzen, N. Partamies, W. Denig, V. A. Pilipenko, K. Oksavik, X. –C., Chen and Y. Zhang, Equatorward Propagating Auroral Arcs driven by ULF Wave Activity: Multipoint Ground and Space based Observations in the Dusk Sector Auroral Oval, 122, 5, 5591-5605, DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023427., 2017

Yagova, N., N. Nosikova, L. Baddeley, O. Kozyreva, D.Lorentzen, and V. Pilipenko Non-triggered auroral substorms and long-period (1-4 mHz) geomagnetic and auroral luminosity pulsations in the polar cap, Ann. Geophys. 35,3, 365-376, 10.5194/angeo-35-365-2017, 2017

Belakhovsky, V.B., V.A. Pilipenko, Ya.A. Sakharov, D.L. Lorentzen, and S.N. Samsonov, Geomagnetic and ionospheric response to the interplanetary shock on January 24, 2012, Earth, Planets and Space, 69:105, doi:10.1186/s40623-017-0696-1, 2017

Fedorov, E., N. Mazur, V. Pilipenko, and L. Baddeley, Modeling the high-latitude ground response to the excitation of the ionospheric MHD modes by atmospheric electric discharge, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 121, doi:10.1002/2016JA023354, 2016

Belakhovsky V.B., Pilipenko V.A., Samsonov S.N., and Lorentzen D., Features of Pc5 pulsations of geomagnetic field, auroral emissions, and riometer absorption, Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 56, No. 1, 42–58, 2016

Instrumentation utilized during the study:

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