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Group of Polar ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling

General Introduction

The polar region is one of the most dynamical regions on Earth, where the Earth’s magnetic field lines are highly convergent, nearly vertical, and open to interplanetary space. In this region, energy, mass and momentum from the solar wind can directly enter into the polar upper atmosphere, and various dynamical processes generated by the solar wind-magnetosphere coupling can be directly mapped to the polar ionosphere. This results in various features specific to the polar ionosphere, such as aurora actives, storm enhanced density (SED)/tongue of ionization (TOI), polar cap patches, polar cap arcs, etc. They are also directly subject to space weather disturbances and link to magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere (M-I-T) coupling processes. Despite intensive investigations over past decades, the exact formation and evolution physical process and associated scintillations generation mechanisms, especially under disturbed space weather conditions, remains not resolved.


With the fast development of coverage in the polar regions during recent years from the multiple instruments, such as GNSS ground-based receivers, incoherent scatter radars (ISRs), Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), and all sky imagers as well as space-based measurements, a wealth of data on the global distributions of plasma and flows, as well as the associated scintillations are now available. This offers an excellent opportunity to study these polar irregularities, such as polar cap patches and aurora, and to understand in detail the M-I-T coupling processes within a global perspective.


The group focuses on various features specific to the polar ionosphere and aims to understand the dynamical processes associated with these irregularities and their impact on M-I-T coupling processes, through coordinated investigations of multiple ground-based and space-based observations (including data from GNSS Receivers, ISRs, SuperDARN, all sky imagers, MMS / THEMIS / Cluster / DMSP / SWARM satellites, etc.) and impact of these irregularities on GNSS navigation and communications, as well as scintillation modeling and forecasts. We have also built a geomagnetic observatory of Shandong University, Weihai (SDW) with the magnetometer (LEMI-018) and installed the GPS ionospheric scintillation and TEC monitors (GPStaion_6).



Geomagnetic observatory of Shandong University, Weihai (SDW) 



GROUP PHOTOS (with an undergraduate student Xin Zhou)


Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Qing He Zhang (http://space.wh.sdu.edu.cn/bencandy.php?fid=36&id=595)


Team Members (1 lecturer, 1 postdocs, and 3 graduate students)

(visit http://space.wh.sdu.edu.cn/bencandy.php?fid=19&id=507 for more info.)

Lecturer: Dr. Zanyang Xing

Postdoctoral Scientists:

   Shishir Priyadarshi

Graduate students:

   Yong Wang, Yuzhang Ma, Yanqiu Ren


Main Research Grants

1. "Ten thousand plan" youth talent support plan from Central Committee of P.R.C., Yuan 1700,000, 2016.1-2019.12.

2. Earth's ion upflow associated with polar cap patches, NSFC, general project, Yuan 830,000, 2016.1-2019.12.

3. The formation and evolution of polar cap patches, NSFC, general project, Yuan 800,000, 2013.1-2016.12.

4. Polar ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling, Shandong province outstanding youth fund, Yuan 600,000, 2014.1-2017.12.

5. Qilu young scholars, Shandong University fund, Yuan 1000,000, 2013.8-2017.7.

6. Polar ionosphere to response studies of dayside magnetic reconnection, NSFC grant for youths, Yuan 260,000, 2012.1-2014.12.

7. Polar ionospheric ion upflow and its detection technology research, 863-712, Yuan 200,000, 2015.7-2016.6.30

8. The new method exploration research for polar ionospheric scintillation, 863-712 sub-project, Yuan 63,000, 2015.7-2016.6.30

9. Statistical characteristic of the polar ionospheric scintillation, open fund of a key laboratory, Yuan 200,000, 2017.1-2018.12.


Selected Publications

1. Zhang Qing-He, Bei-Chen Zhang, Michael Lockwood, Hong-Qiao Hu, Jøran Moen, John M. Ruohoniemi, Evan G. Thomas, Shun-Rong Zhang, Hui-Gen Yang, Rui-Yuan Liu, Kathryn A. McWilliams, Joseph. B. H. Baker, Direct Observations of the Evolution of Polar Cap Ionization Patches, Science, 339, 1597-1600, 2013, DOI:10.1123/science.1231487.

2. Zhang, Qing‐He, Zong, Qiu‐Gang, Lockwood, M., Heelis, R. A., Hairston, M., & Liang, J., et al. (2016). Earth's ion upflow associated with polar cap patches: global and in‐situ observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(5).

3. Zhang, Q. H., M. Lockwood, J. Foster, S. R. Zhang, B. C. Zhang, I. McCrea, J. Moen, M. Lester, and J. M. Ruohoniemi (2015), Direct observations of the full Dungey convection cycle in the polar ionosphere for southward interplanetary magnetic field conditions, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 120: 4519–4530, doi:10.1002/2015JA021172.

4. Wang, Y., Q.-H. Zhang*, P. T. Jayachandran, M. Lockwood, S.-R. Zhang, J. Moen, Z.-Y. Xing, Y.-Z. Ma, and M. Lester (2016), A comparison between large-scale irregularities and scintillations in the polar ionosphere, Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 4790-4798, doi:10.1002/2016GL069230.

5. S. Priyadarshi, , Q. H. Zhang*, Y. Z. Ma, Y. Wang, and Z. Y. Xing (2016), Observations and modeling of ionospheric scintillations at South Pole during 6 X-Class Solar Flares in 2013, Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, doi:10.1002/2016ja022833.

6. 张清和,张北辰,杨升高,王勇, 极区电离层“等离子体云块”研究进展, 《空间物理学进展》第五卷,《科学出版社》,印刷中,2015.

7. S. Priyadarshi, (2015), A Review of Ionospheric Scintillation Models, Surveys in geophysics, 36(2), 295-324.

8. S. Priyadarshi,( 2015), Ionospheric Scintillation Modelling for High and Mid Latitude Using B-spline Technique, Astrophys Space Sci. , 359(359):1-8

9. S. Priyadarshi, Wernik, A.W., (2013). Variation of the Ionospheric Scintillation Index with Elevation Angle of the Transmitter. Acta Geophysica DOI: 10.2478/s11600-013-0123-3

10. XING ZanYang*, YANG HuiGen*, HAN DeSheng, WU ZhenSen, LIU JunMing,HU ZeJun, ZHANG QingHe, HU HongQiao, & LIU YongHua, (2013),Dayside poleward moving auroral forms and ionospheric convection during stable IMF conditions. Science China Technological Science, 56(4), 910-916.

11. Xing Z. Y*, H. G Yang*, D. S Han, Z. S. Wu, Z. J Hu, Q. H. Zhang, Y. Kamide, H. Q. Hu, B. C. Zhang, J. M. Liu, and D. H. Huang, (2012), Poleward moving auroral forms (PMAFs) observed at the Yellow River Station: A statistical study of its dependence on the solar wind conditions. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 86: 25-33.

12. Xing Zanyang*, Yang Huigen, Han Desheng, Wu Zhensen, Liu Junming, Hu Zejun, Zhang Qinghe, Liu Yonghua, Zhang Beichen, & Hu Hongqiao,(2012), Simultaneous optical and radar observations of poleward moving auroral forms under different IMF conditions, Advances in Polar Science, 23(4), 204-210.

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