Study of Pc1 pearl structures observed at multi-point ground stations in Russia, Japan, and Canada

Chae Woo Jun, Kazuo Shiokawa, Martin Connors, Ian Schofield, Igor Poddelsky, Boris Shevtsov

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate possible generation mechanisms of Pc1 pearl structures using multi-point induction magnetometers in Athabasca in Canada, Magadan in Russia, and Moshiri in Japan. We selected two Pc1 pulsations that were simultaneously observed at the three stations and applied a polarization analysis. In case 1, on 8 April 2010, Pc1 pearl structures were slightly different in some time intervals at different stations, and their polarization angles varied depending on the frequencies at the three stations. Case 2, on 11 April 2010, showed Pc1 pearl structures that were similar at different stations, and their polarization angle was independent of frequency at all three stations. In order to understand these differences, we performed two simple model calculations of Pc1 pearl structures under different conditions. The first model assumes that Pc1 waves propagated from a latitudinally extended source with different frequencies at different latitudes to the observation points, representing beating of these waves in the ionosphere. The second model considers Pc1 waves for which different frequencies are mixed at a point source to cause the beating at the source point, indicating that the Pc1 pearl structures are generated in the magnetosphere. The first model shows slightly different waveforms at different stations. In contrast, the second model shows identical waveforms at different stations. From these results, we conclude that, in case 1, Pc1 pearl structures were caused by beating in the ionosphere. On the other hand, in case 2, they were the result of magnetospheric effects. We suggest that beating processes in the ionosphere could be one of the generation mechanisms of Pc1 pearl structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Multi-point ground-based observation
  • Pc1 pulsations
  • Pearl structures


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