The temporal evolution of Langmuir waves excited by high‐power, high‐frequency (HF) radio waves in the ionosphere is studied theoretically. This study is motivated by past observations made with the 450 MHz radar at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Two kinds of nonlinear damping to the parametric decay instability are considered in the derivation of the rate equation for the spectral intensity of enhanced Langmuir waves. They are Langmuir wave cascading caused by nonlinear Landau damping and cross‐field electron diffusion. The first damping process leads to the saturation of individual unstable Langmuir wave. The second process, which results from the incoherent scattering of electron orbits by the total excited Langmuir waves, yields anomalous damping that applies to each Langmuir wave. Consequently, Langmuir waves with smaller growth rates will be suppressed by those with larger growth rates. Such a mode competition process may cause the overshoot of the HF‐enhanced plasma line observed with the Arecibo 430 MHz radar. Favorable agreement is obtained between theory and the Arecibo observations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)