The F-layer at sunrise
Abstract. It was noticed 60 years ago that at sunrise (i) the ionospheric critical frequency foF2 increases faster in winter than in summer and (ii) the increase begins at a greater solar zenith angle in winter. It was later suggested that this "seasonal sunrise anomaly" is due to a seasonal change of atomic/molecular ratio in the neutral air in the F2-layer. This paper uses the Sheffield University plasmasphere-ionosphere computational model (SUPIM) with the MSIS thermosphere model to examine the relative importance at sunrise of production, loss and diffusion processes, and the effect of neutral air winds. The results show that both (i) and (ii) can be explained in terms of neutral composition changes.