We present the results of an analysis of long‐term measurements of ionospheric
Previous radar studies have shown that magnitude of the vertical component of equatorial ionospheric
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- p. 4916-4925
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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We present the results of an analysis of long‐term measurements of ionospheric
Fregion E× Bplasma drifts in the American/Peruvian sector. The analysis used observations made between 1986 and 2017 by the incoherent scatter radar of the Jicamarca Radio Observatory. Unlike previous studies, we analyzed both vertical and zonal components of the plasma drifts to derive the geomagnetically quiet time climatological variation of the drifts as a function of height and local time. We determine the average behavior of the height profiles of the drifts for different seasons and distinct solar flux conditions. Our results show good agreement with previous height‐averaged climatological results of vertical and zonal plasma drifts, despite that they are obtained from different sets of measurements. More importantly, our results quantify average height variations in the drifts. The results show, for example, the solar flux control over the height variation of the vertical drifts. The results also show the weak dependence of the daytime zonal drift profiles on solar and seasonal variations. We quantify the effects of seasonal and solar flux variations on the morphology of the vertical shear in the zonal plasma drifts associated with the evening plasma vortex. Assuming interchangeability between local time and longitude, we tested the curl‐free condition for the Fregion electric fields with very good results for all seasons and solar flux conditions. We envision the use of our results to aid numerical modeling of ionospheric electrodynamics and structuring and to assist with the interpretation of satellite observations of low‐latitude plasma drifts.
Abstract We introduce a new numerical model developed to assist with Data Interpretation and Numerical Analysis of ionospheric Missions and Observations (DINAMO). DINAMO derives the ionospheric electrostatic potential at low- and mid-latitudes from a two-dimensional dynamo equation and user-specified inputs for the state of the ionosphere and thermosphere (I–T) system. The potential is used to specify the electric fields and associated F -region E × B plasma drifts. Most of the model was written in Python to facilitate the setup of numerical experiments and to engage students in numerical modeling applied to space sciences. Here, we illustrate applications and results of DINAMO in two different analyses. First, DINAMO is used to assess the ability of widely used I–T climatological models (IRI-2016, NRLMSISE-00, and HWM14), when used as drivers, to produce a realistic representation of the low-latitude electrodynamics. In order to evaluate the results, model E × B drifts are compared with observed climatology of the drifts derived from long-term observations made by the Jicamarca incoherent scatter radar. We found that the climatological I–T models are able to drive many of the features of the plasma drifts including the diurnal, seasonal, altitudinal and solar cycle variability. We also identified discrepancies between modeled and observed drifts under certain conditions. This is, in particular, the case of vertical equatorial plasma drifts during low solar flux conditions, which were attributed to a poor specification of the E -region neutral wind dynamo. DINAMO is then used to quantify the impact of meridional currents on the morphology of F -region zonal plasma drifts. Analytic representations of the equatorial drifts are commonly used to interpret observations. These representations, however, commonly ignore contributions from meridional currents. Using DINAMO we show that that these currents can modify zonal plasma drifts by up to ~ 16 m/s in the bottom-side post-sunset F -region, and up to ~ 10 m/s between 0700 and 1000 LT for altitudes above 500 km. Finally, DINAMO results show the relationship between the pre-reversal enhancement (PRE) of the vertical drifts and the vertical shear in the zonal plasma drifts with implications for equatorial spread F.more » « less
Postsunset midlatitude traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) and equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs) were simultaneously observed over American sector during the geomagnetic storm on 8 September 2017. The characteristics of TIDs are analyzed by using a combination of the Millstone Hill incoherent scatter radar data and 2‐D detrended total electron content (TEC) from ground‐based Global Navigation Satellite System receivers. The main results associated with EPBs are as follows: (1) stream‐like structures of TEC depletion occurred simultaneously at geomagnetically conjugate points, (2) poleward extension of the TEC irregularities/depletions along the magnetic field lines, (3) severe equatorial and midlatitude electron density (
N e) bite outs observed by Defense Meteorological Satellite Program and Swarm satellites, and (4) enhancements of ionosphere Flayer virtual height and vertical drifts observed by equatorial ionosondes near the EPBs initiation region. The stream‐like TEC depletions reached 46° magnetic latitudes that map to an apex altitude of 6,800 km over the magnetic equator using International Geomagnetic Reference Field. The formation of this extended density depletion structure is suggested to be due to the merging between the altitudinal/latitudinal extension of EPBs driven by strong prompt penetration electric field and midlatitude TIDs. Moreover, the poleward portion of the depletion/irregularity drifted westward and reached the equatorward boundary of the ionospheric main trough. This westward drift occurred at the same time as the sudden expansion of the convection pattern and could be attributed to the strong returning westward flow near the subauroral polarization stream region. Other possible mechanisms for the westward tilt are also discussed.
Numerical experiments are performed using a suite of general circulation models that enable the interaction between a Kelvin wave packet and the ionosphere‐thermosphere (IT) to be elucidated. Focus is on an eastward‐propagating ultra‐fast Kelvin wave (UFKW) packet with periods between 2 and 4 days and zonal wavenumber
s=−1 during day of year (DOY) 266–281, 2009. Dissipative processes modify the classic UFKW dynamics (equatorially trapped, small meridional wind component) in three ways: (1) molecular diffusion acts to spread the UFKW zonal ( u) and meridional ( v) wind fields meridionally, pole to pole, as uand v, respectively, decay and grow with increasing height; (2) due to molecular diffusion, the UFKW spectrum at longer periods and with shorter vertical wavelengths preferentially dissipates with height; and (3) interaction with the diurnally varying IT introduces a westward‐propagating s=+2 component to the wind field that significantly modifies its longitude‐UT structure to include a diurnal modulation. The F‐region ionosphere also responds with s=+2, which originates from the influence of diurnally varying E‐region conductivity on E× Bdrifts. Additional spectral peaks in vand ionospheric parameters arise due to longitude variations in the magnetic field. Maximum excursions in NmF2 (as compared with those from a simulation without UFKW forcing) achieve values as large as ±50% but more commonly occur in the range of ±20–30%. The combination of positive and negative responses, and their relative magnitudes, depends on the phasing of the UFKW as it moves zonally relative to the Sun‐synchronous diurnal variation of the ionosphere, in addition to its changing amplitude between DOY 266 and 282. Modifications of order 10 ms−1and −7% to zonal‐mean zonal winds and NmF2, respectively, also result from dissipation of the UFKW packet.
Equatorial plasma bubble (EPB) development during different phases of the geomagnetic storm of 3–4 November 2021 (
SYMHmin = −118 nT) was examined using observations and simulations. The initial phase of the storm coincided with postsunset (about 30 min after sunset) at Fortaleza (FZ) and São Luís (SL) with longitudes of ∼38.45°W and ∼44°W respectively on November 3 while the recovery phase of the storm started at 12:45 UT on November 4. GOLD shows the longest (shortest) extension of EPBs on November 3 (4) compared to days before and after November 3 and 4, including quiet days. This indicates an intensification (weakening) of EPBs on November 3 (4). From ionosondes at FZ and SL, a strong (weak) range spread F (SSF (RSF)) was observed on November 3 (4). The postsunset peak F layer height on November 3 reached 450 km and exceeded the preceding and succeeding days by ∼50–100 km at SL indicating the presence of a Prompt Penetration Electric Field (PPEF) which enhanced EPB development via the favorable postsunset vertical E x B and Rayleigh‐Taylor instability (RTI) mechanisms on November 3. The lower‐than‐quiet time F layer height observed on November 4 during Pre‐reversal enhancement (PRE) indicates the presence of a westward‐oriented Disturbance Dynamo Electric Field (DDEF) that undermined RTI growth and led to the weakening of EPB development. Simulation results confirm that the storm‐time electric fields modified the evening‐time ionosphere and influenced the magnitude of vertical Ex Bdrift required for the development of EPBs.