Chapman Conference on
Mid-latitude Ionospheric Dynamics and Disturbances

Yosemite National Park, California, USA
3-6 January 2007

Program Committee
Conference Objectives
Format and Schedule
Preliminary Schedule
Confirmed Invited Speakers
Abstract Submission Information
Location and Accommodations
Travel Support
Registration and Information
Further Information


Program Committee

Conference Objectives

The goal of the Mid-latitude Ionospheric Dynamics and Disturbances (MIDD) conference is to explore the characteristics, causes, and consequences of mid-latitude ionospheric storms, dynamics, disturbances, and irregularities by focusing on the extremes of mid-latitude space weather.

Studies of mid-latitude ionospheric storm dynamics have existed for decades, originating with single point measurements, and then using small networks, in attempts to connect unusual and seemingly chaotic ionospheric behavior with geomagnetic storms. Over the past five years continental and global TEC maps of ionospheric structure, derived from arrays of GPS receivers, show that these single point measurements were sampling vast movements of ionization across mid-latitudes. These maps, coupled with space-based images of the ionosphere and inner magnetosphere, as well as ground-based radar and imaging, are revealing a fascinating picture of mid-latitude dynamics and its connection to the solar wind, magnetosphere and high and low latitude ionosphere. Complementing these new observations and techniques are advances in data assimilation models and models of the thermosphere-ionosphere general circulation and of the coupled ionosphere-magnetosphere. All of these models can be employed to investigate the new science of the mid-latitude ionosphere. This science is now a system wide investigation engaging several communities including magnetospheric, ionospheric, thermospheric, and heliospheric scientists as well as space weather specialists and users of GPS.

Most space scientists agree that the mid-latitude ionosphere is much more dynamic than previously believed, and major new scientific questions have been raised concerning the extent, causes, and characteristics of mid-latitude storms. For example, what are the relative roles of storm-time magnetospheric electric fields and dynamo electric fields from thermospheric winds driven by high latitude heating? Do mid-latitude storms have a longitudinal dependence perhaps related to the South Atlantic Anomaly? How is plasma transported from the equatorial anomalies poleward? Is mass transfer from the ionosphere to the magnetosphere significant? What are the relative roles of ionization transport versus local production and uplift? Do daytime zonal electric fields exist to produce positive-phase storms? Do storm-time equatorward winds produce them? Are mid-latitude ionospheric storms the cause of polar cap patches?

Associated with mid-latitude ionospheric storms are density irregularities and 100 km scale waves, which produce L-band scintillations affecting signals such a GPS, sometimes severely. There is little agreement on the production mechanism for the irregularities with some suggesting that it is related to ring current pressure gradients, and others suggesting a local ExB instability driven by thermospheric winds. The larger scale (100 km) waves may be common, but the origin and physics of these waves is completely unknown.

The ionospheric density gradients, waves, and irregularities produced in mid-latitude storms produce space weather that can have dramatic consequences in practical applications. For example, during October 30-31, 2003, the GPS system for commercial air travel, called WAAS, was severely disrupted by an ionospheric storm over the continental United States for two intervals totaling 26 hours. In addition to the space science community, all current and future users of high precision navigation systems such as the FAA, Coast Guard, railway control, highway traffic management, and emergency response vehicles, are vitally interested in understanding mid-latitude ionosphere dynamics and storms. The convergence of new challenging science with societal need to focus on the mid-latitude ionosphere offers an excellent opportunity for progress.

Format and Schedule

The conference will include four days of presentations and discussion. Oral sessions will take place from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 noon and from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. each day. The afternoons will be free for individual and small group interactions. On the last day there will be an afternoon session instead of an evening session. Thursday evening, January 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. is set aside for a poster session. An opening reception will be held on January 2 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and the conference banquet on January 5, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

Preliminary Schedule [PDF, 60KB]

Confirmed Invited Speakers

Gerd Prölss, Institut för Astrophysik und Extraterrestrische Forschung der Universität Bonn
Alan Roger, British Antarctic Survey
Jan Sojka, Utah State University
Geoff Crowley, ASTRA
Akinori Saito, University of Kyoto
Patricai Doherty, Boston College
Stanislav Sazykin, Rice University
Gang Lu, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
William Burke, Air Force Research Laboratory
John Foster, Millstone Hill
Rod Heelis, University of Texas
Art Richmond, NCAR
Richard Eastes, Florida Space Institute
Bruce Tsurutani, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Abstract Submission Instructions

Submission Deadline: 15 September 2006

ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS BY E-MAIL: Compose your abstract on your E-mail software exactly as you would a normal message. Please re-set your margins, if necessary, so that the text wraps from line to line, to avoid the insertion of hard returns. Follow the instructions below. A sample E-MAIL abstract is provided at the end.

  1. TITLE - The title of the abstract should be composed in a standard title format, capitalizing the first letter of all words of four or more letters. Insert one blank line after title. Please BOLD, but do not underline.
  2. AUTHOR BLOCK- The author block should contain the name of a presenting author that should be enclosed in brackets and asterisks, like so: [*I M First*]. If there is no presenting author, then input [*---*] at the beginning of the author block. Input your author block by typing the author's name, then putting their address, phone, fax, and e-mail information in parentheses, ( ). Do not put each author on a separate line, but rather, separate each author's information with a semi-colon (;). Leave one blank line after the author block.
  3. ABSTRACT TEXT - Special symbols or graphics should not be used in composing the abstract. Leave one blank line between paragraphs and after the body.
  4. SUBMITTAL INFORMATION - This section is to record information about which meeting the abstracts being submitted to and to obtain contact information. Please provide the following:

    1. Title of meeting (Chapman Conference on Mid-latitude Ionospheric Dynamics and Disturbances) (VERY IMPORTANT!)
    3. Corresponding author contact information:
      1. Corresponding address: Give name, affiliation, and mailing address of the author to whom all correspondence regarding this abstract should be sent.
      2. Corresponding author's telephone number.
      3. Corresponding author's fax number.
      4. Corresponding author's E-mail address.
    4. Indicate whether the first author is a student.

  5. SUBMIT YOUR ABSTRACT - Send the abstract to the following E-mail address:
  6. CONFIRMATIONS - Confirmations of received abstracts will be sent via electronic mail within one business day of submission. If you have not received confirmation, please call the AGU at +1-202-777-7332 or fax: +1-202-777-7385, or e-mail:

Remote Sensing of Alpine Snow Properties: A Review of Techniques and Accomplishments Using the Visible Wavelengths Through the Microwave

[*J S Smith*] (Department of Geology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3060; ph. 805-893-2308; fax 805-893-2578; e-mail:; A C Cohen (Hydrology Department, Watertown University, Watertown, MA 02172; ph. 413-789-1234; fax 413-789-1256; e-mail:

Topography causes wide variations in the properties of alpine snow within small areas, and a knowledge of the spatial variation of many properties is essential for the application of distributed hydrologic models and for establishing the surface boundary condition for regional climate models. However, the topography affects the electromagnetic remote sensing signal by shadowing some terrain and by modifying the angles of incidence, emission, and reflection of the signal, and our knowledge of the elevation model is usually not precise enough to allow a priori calculation of the geometric relationships between the surface, sensor, and the Sun. Hence remote sensing algorithms must be robust to such uncertainties, except in areas where topographic knowledge is especially good. The most elementary snow property is the presence or absence of a snow cover, and snow mapping -- discrimination of snow from other types of surfaces and from clouds -- is best accomplished with a combination of visible and near-infrared wavelengths.

  1. Chapman Conference on Mid-latitude Ionospheric Dynamics and Disturbances
  2. Invited
  3. (a) J S Smith Department of Geology University of California Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3060 (b) 805-893-2309 (c) 805-893-2578 (d)
  4. No

If you have questions, please contact Melissa Ficek at: E-mail:; Phone: +1-202-777-7332

Meeting Location and Hotel Accommodations

Housing Deadline: 2 December 2006

The meeting takes place in the Yosemite National Park ( Group lodging has been reserved in the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls with a group discount rate of $108.00 per night. Oral sessions will be held in the Cliff and Fall rooms in the Yosemite Lodge. Poster sessions will be at The Ahwahnee Hotel. Individuals wanting to stay at the Ahwahnee hotel can request lodging at a rate of about $350.00 per night. Please use the reservation request form below to make your hotel reservations. If paying by credit card, you can fax this form to +1 (559)456-4362. For Assistance with Rooms, please contact the Conference Reservations Department at +1 (559)253-5675 Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Yosemite National Park Reservation Request Form [PDF, 39KB]

Road & Weather Info: Please call (209) 372-0209 for road and weather information prior to your arrival.

It is recommended that you carry tire chains in your vehicle between November and April. Under state regulations, any vehicle entering a signed chain control area must carry chains, even if their use is not mandatory at the time. There is a $20.00 entrance fee per vehicle collected by the National Park Service at park entrance stations. Gasoline is no longer available in Yosemite Valley. Gasoline is available at service stations near park entrances and in Yosemite National Park at Crane Flat and Wawona, as well as Tuolumne Meadows seasonally.

Travel Support

Application Deadline: 15 September 2006

Support for travel to and participation in this conference has been requested from the National Science Foundation. Students and postdoctoral researchers will receive the highest priority for such support.

To apply for travel funds, please print and complete the travel grant application below and return it to the AGU Meetings Department by 15 September 2006.

Chapman Conference Travel Grant Application [PDF, 39KB]

Registration and Information

The registration deadline is 1 December 2006.

Please use the Chapman Conference on Mid-latitude Ionospheric Dynamics and Disturbances registration form. Participants from developing countries (click here for a list of countries:, can register for this meeting at a special registration fee. Your current address must be from one of the qualifying countries to receive the reduced fee. The registration deadline is 1 December 2006. Please email all registration forms to, send via fax to +1-202-777-7385, or mail with payment to the address listed on the form.

Further Information

If you have questions or would like to be placed on a mailing list, e-mail or call the AGU Meetings Department at +1-202-777-7332.

Return to AGU Meetings
Back to AGU Home Page