Geophysical Research Letters
The modeling of ionospheric plasma density irregularities (ΔN/N) is a necessary first step towards forecasting ionospheric scintillation effects. This modeling challenge is difficult not only because the linear‐nonlinear saturation levels of instabilities are not completely understood but also because ΔN/N often evolves on time scales which are long compared to the characteristic time constants of the instability drivers. In this study, the linear 1‐D gradient drift instability (GDI) is used in a high latitude simulation of ΔN/N evolution. For the first time snapshots (maps) of ΔN/N are presented demonstrating that it is possible to use a physical model simulation of the ionosphere coupled with a time dependent convection electric field to simulate meso‐scale irregularities. It is found that to evaluate the density irregularity in any given location, it is not sufficient to know the instantaneous growth rate; it is necessary to follow the history of the plasma along the convection streamlines.
Sojka, J. J., L. Zhu, M. David, and R. W. Schunk (2000), Modeling the evolution of meso‐scale ionospheric irregularites at high latitudes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 27(21), 3595–3598, doi:10.1029/2000GL003813.