HF radar observations of equatorial spread-F over West Africa
Abstract. New experimental data depicting equatorial spread-F were taken during an HF radar sounding campaign in Korhogo (Ivory Coast, 9°24N, 5°37W, dip 4°S). Range-time-intensity maps of the radar echoes have been analyzed to identify the signatures of density depletions and bottomside spread-F. Density depletions are well known features of equatorial spread-F, and are believed to emerge after the development of a Rayleigh-Taylor instability on the bottomside F-layer. A simple model is developed and used to simulate the flow of density depletions over the radar field of view. The simulation permits an interpretation of the data that yields the zonal flow velocity as a function of local time. Comparisons with previous measurements are undertaken to assess the consistency of the computational results, and qualitative arguments are presented to identify bottomside spread-F. Using the computational results as reference, a morphological study of ionograms showing spread-F is undertaken which reveals the specific signature of bottomside spread-F on ionograms recorded just after sunset.