The University of Southampton

Daniel Whiter 

Lecturer in Space Physics

Daniel Whiter is a lecturer in Space Physics. He obtained his PhD from the University of Southampton in 2011, on the topic of rapid fine-scale aurora. He then spent four years as a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, before returning to Southampton in 2015. His work focusses on mechanisms producing structure in the aurora, and heating of the neutral upper atmosphere by auroral processes.

Dr Whiter leads the operation of the University of Southampton's state-of-the-art optical instruments located on Svalbard in the high Arctic. These instruments (imagers and a spectrograph) measure fine-scale structures in the aurora and airglow in exquisite detail. By combining such observations with results from an advanced ionospheric model we can learn a great deal about the space environment and plasma processes which produce the beautiful aurora. Recently Dr Whiter has developed new ways to measure the temperature in the upper atmosphere using the Southampton spectrograph, which are now providing exciting new insights into how the aurora heats the atmosphere.


Research interests

Aurora, Space Physics, Ionosphere, Upper Atmosphere


Whiter, D.K., Lanchester, B.S., Gustavsson, B., Ivchenko, N., Sullivan, J.M. and Dahlgren, H. (2008) Small-scale structures in flickering aurora. Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (23), L23103. (doi:10.1029/2008GL036134).

Dahlgren, H., Ivchenko, N., Lanchester, B. S., Sullivan, J., Whiter, D., Marklund, G. and Strømme, A. (2008) Using spectral characteristics to interpret auroral imaging in the 731.9 nm O+ line. Annales Geophysicae, 26 (7), 1905-1917.

Sullivan, J.M., Lockwood, Michael, Lanchester, Betty S., Kontar, E.P., Ivchenko, N., Dahlgren, H. and Whiter, D.K. (2008) An optical study of multiple NEIAL events driven by low energy electron precipitation. Annales Geophysicae, 26 (8), 2435-2447.

Dahlgren, H., Ivchenko, N., Sullivan, J., Lanchester, B.S., Marklund, G. and Whiter, D. (2008) Morphology and dynamics of aurora at fine scale: first results from the ASK instrument. [in special issue: Atmospheric Studies by Optical Methods] Annales Geophysicae, 26 (5), 1041-1048. (doi:10.5194/angeo-26-1041-2008).

Dahlgren, H., Ivchenko, N., Lanchester, B.S., Ashrafi, M., Whiter, D., Marklund, G. and Sullivan, J. (2009) First direct optical observations of plasma flows using afterglow of O+O+ in discrete aurora. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 71 (2), 228-238. (doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.11.015).

Dahlgren, H., Aikio, A., Kaila, K., Ivchenko, N., Lanchester, B.S., Whiter, D.K. and Marklund, G.T. (2010) Simultaneous observations of small multi-scale structures in an auroral arc. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 72 (7-8), 633-637. (doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2010.01.014).

Whiter, D.K., Lanchester, B.S., Gustavsson, B., Ivchenko, N. and Dahlgren, H. (2010) Using multispectral optical observations to identify the acceleration mechanism responsible for flickering aurora. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (A12), A12315. (doi:10.1029/2010JA015805).

Frey, H.U., Amm, O., Chaston, C.C., Fu, S., Haerendel, G., Juusola, L., Karlsson, T., Lanchester, B., Nakamura, R., Ostgaard, N., Sakanoi, T., Seran, E., Whiter, D., Weygand, J., Asamura, K. and Hirahara, M. (2010) Small and meso-scale properties of a substorm onset auroral arc. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, A10209-[20pp]. (doi:10.1029/2010JA015537).

Whiter, D.K. (2011) Quantitative analysis of multi-monochromatic observations of rapid small scale aurora. University of Southampton, School of Physics and Astronomy, Doctoral Thesis, 143pp.

Spry, J.D., Jokiaho, O., Lanchester, B.S. and Whiter, D.K. (2014) Modelling N21P contamination in auroral O+ emissions. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 107, 8-11. (doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2013.10.013).

Kataoka, Ryuho, Fukuda, Yoko, Miyoshi, Yoshizumi, Miyahara, Hiroko, Itoya, Satoru, Ebihara, Yusuke, Hampton, Donald, Dahlgren, Hanna, Whiter, Daniel and Ivchenko, Nickolay (2015) Compound auroral micromorphology: ground-based high-speed imaging. Earth Planets and Space, 67 (1), 1-9. (doi:10.1186/s40623-015-0190-6).

Whiter, D.K., Lanchester, B.S., Gustavsson, B., Jallo, N.I.B., Jokiaho, O., Ivchenko, N. and Dahlgren, H. (2014) Relative brightness of the O+(2D-2P) doublets in low-energy aurorae. The Astrophysical Journal, 797 (1), 1-9. (doi:10.1088/0004-637X/797/1/64).

Dahlgren, Hanna, Lanchester, Betty, Ivchenko, Nickolay and Whiter, Daniel (2016) Electrodynamics and energy characteristics of aurora at high resolution by optical methods. Journal of Geophysical Research, 121 (6), 5966-5974. (doi:10.1002/2016JA022446).

Tanaka, Yoshimasa, Ogawa, Yasunobu, Kadokura, Akira, Partamies, Noora, Whiter, Daniel, Enell, Carl-Fredrik, Brändström, Urban, Sergienko, Tima, Gustavsson, Björn, Kozlovsky, Alexander, Miyaoka, Hiroshi and Yoshikawa, Akimasa (2015) Eastward-expanding auroral surges observed in the post-midnight sector during a multiple-onset substorm. Earth Planets and Space, 67 (182), 1-10. (doi:10.1186/s40623-015-0350-8).

Partamies, Noora, Juusola, Liisa, Whiter, Daniel and Kauristie, Kirsti (2015) Substorm evolution of auroral structures. Journal of Geophysical Research, 120 (7), 5958-5972. (doi:10.1002/2015JA021217).

Schlatter, N.M., Belyey, V., Gustavsson, B., Ivchenko, N., Whiter, D., Dahlgren, H. and Tuttle, S. (2015) Auroral ion acoustic wave enhancement observed with a radar interferometer system. Annales Geophysicae, 33 (7), 837-844. (doi:10.5194/angeo-33-837-2015).

Whiter, D.K., Lanchester, B.S., Sakanoi, T. and Asamura, K. (2012) Estimating high-energy electron fluxes by intercalibrating Reimei optical and particle measurements using an ionospheric model. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 89, 8-17. (doi:10.1016/J.JASTP.2012.06.014).

Dahlgren, H., Gustavsson, B., Lanchester, B.S., Ivchenko, N., Brändström, U., Whiter, D.K., Sergienko, T., Sandahl, I. and Marklund, G. (2011) Energy and flux variations across thin auroral arcs. Annales Geophysicae, 29, 1699-1712. (doi:10.5194/angeo-29-1699-2011).

Savolainen, T., Whiter, D.K. and Partamies, N. (2016) Automatic segmentation and classification of seven-segment display digits on auroral images. Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems, 5, 305-314. (doi:10.5194/gi-5-305-2016).

Dahlgren, H., Lanchester, Betty, Ivchenko, N. and Whiter, Daniel (2017) ASK keograms and videos for study on variations in energy, flux and brightness of pulsating aurora measured at high time resolution. University of Southampton doi:10.5258/SOTON/D0042 [Dataset]

Chadney, Joshua M., Whiter, Daniel K. and Lanchester, Betty S. (2017) Effect of water vapour absorption on hydroxyl temperatures measured from Svalbard. Annales Geophysicae, 35, 481-491. (doi:10.5194/angeo-35-481-2017).

Dahlgren, Hanna, Lanchester, Betty S., Ivchenko, Nickolay and Whiter, Daniel K. (2017) Variations in energy, flux, and brightness of pulsating aurora measured at high time resolution. Annales Geophysicae, 35, 493-503. (doi:10.5194/angeo-35-493-2017).

Partamies, N., Whiter, D., Kadokura, A., Kauristie, K., Nesse Tyssøy, H., Massetti, S., Stauning, P. and Raita, Tero (2017) Occurrence and average behavior of pulsating aurora. Journal of Geophysical Research. (doi:10.1002/2017JA024039).

Reidy, J.A., Fear, R.C., Whiter, D.K., Lanchester, B.S., Kavanagh, A.J., Paxton, L.J., Zhang, Y. and Lester, M. (2017) Multi-instrument observation of simultaneous polar cap auroras on open and closed magnetic field lines. Journal of Geophysical Research, 122 (4), 4367-4386. (doi:10.1002/2016JA023718).

Grandin, M., Kero, A., Partamies, N., McKay, D., Whiter, Daniel, Kozlovsky, A. and Miyoshi, Y. (2017) Observation of pulsating aurora signatures in cosmic noise absorption data. Geophysical Research Letters. (doi:10.1002/2017GL073901).

Fukuda, Yoko, Kataoka, Ryuho, Uchida, Herbert Akihito, Miyoshi, Yoshizumi, Hampton, Donald, Shiokawa, Kazuo, Ebihara, Yusuke, Whiter, Daniel, Iwagami, Naomoto and Seki, Kanako (2017) First evidence of patchy flickering aurora modulated by multi-ion electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (9), 3963-3970. (doi:10.1002/2017GL072956).

Reed, Joe, Jackman, Caitriona, Lamy, Laurent, Whiter, Daniel and Kurth, W. S. (2018) Low frequency extensions of the saturn kilometric radiation as a proxy for magnetospheric dynamics. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. (doi:10.1002/2017JA024499).

Ieda, Akimasa, Kauristie, Kirsti, Nishimura, Yukitoshi, Miyashita, Yukinaga, Frey, Harald U., Juusola, Liisa, Whiter, Daniel, Nosé, Masahito, Fillingim, Matthew O., Honary, Farideh, Rogers, Neil C., Miyoshi, Yoshizumi, Miura, Tsubasa, Kawashima, Takahira and Machida, Shinobu (2018) Simultaneous observation of auroral substorm onset in Polar satellite global images and ground-based all-sky images. Earth Planets and Space, 70 (73), 1-18, [73]. (doi:10.1186/s40623-018-0843-3).

Reidy, J. A., Fear, R. C., Whiter, D. K., Lanchester, B., Kavanagh, A. J., Milan, S. E., Carter, J. A., Paxton, L. J. and Zhang, Y. (2018) Interhemispheric survey of polar cap aurora. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. (doi:10.1029/2017JA025153).

Chadney, Joshua and Whiter, Daniel (2018) Neutral temperature and atmospheric water vapour retrieval from spectral fitting of auroral and airglow emissions. Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems, 7 (4), 317-329. (doi:10.5194/gi-7-317-2018).

Coxon, John C., Shore, Robert M., Freeman, Mervyn P., Fear, Robert C., Browett, Stephen D., Smith, Andrew W., Whiter, Daniel K. and Anderson, Brian J. (2019) Timescales of Birkeland currents driven by the IMF. Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (14), 1-9. (doi:10.1029/2018GL081658).

Castro, A., Altamirano, D., Michel, R., Gandhi, P., Santisteban, J. V. Hernández, Echevarría, J., Tejada, C., Knigge, C., Sierra, G., Colorado, E., Hernández-Landa, J., Whiter, D., Middleton, M., García, B., Guisa, G. and Castro-Segura, N. (2019) OPTICAM: A triple-camera optical system designed to explore the fastest timescales in Astronomy. Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica, 55, 1-14. (doi:10.22201/ia.01851101p.2019.55.02.20).

Price, David, John, Whiter, Daniel, Chadney, Joshua and Lanchester, Betty (2019) High-resolution optical observations of neutral heating associated with the electrodynamics of an auroral arc. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. (doi:10.1029/2019JA027345).

Nishimura, Yukitoshi, Lessard, Marc R., Katoh, Yuto, Miyoshi, Yoshizumi, Grono, Eric, Partamies, Noora, Sivadas, Nithin, Hosokawa, Keisuke, Fukizawa, Mizuki, Samara, Marilia, Michell, Robert G., Kataoka, Ryuho, Sakanoi, Takeshi, Whiter, Daniel, Oyama, Shin-ichiro, Ogawa, Yasunobu and Kurita, Satoshi (2020) Diffuse and pulsating aurora. Space Science Reviews, 216, [4]. (doi:10.1007/s11214-019-0629-3).

Price, David, John, Whiter, Daniel, Chadney, Joshua and Lanchester, Betty (2020) Dataset for High resolution optical observations of neutral heating associated with the electrodynamics of an auroral arc. University of Southampton doi:10.5258/SOTON/D1056 [Dataset]

Reidy, Jade, Fear, Robert, Whiter, Daniel, Lanchester, Betty, Kavanagh, A. J., Price, David, John, Chadney, Joshua, Zhang, Yongliang and Paxton, Larry (2020) Dataset for Multi-scale observations of two polar cap arcs occuring on different magnetic field topologies. University of Southampton [Dataset]


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