Effect of equatorial ionization anomaly on the occurrence of spread-F
Abstract. The unique geometry of the geomagnetic field lines over the equatorial ionosphere coupled with the E-W electric field causes the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) and equatorial spread-F (ESF). Ionosonde data obtained at a chain of four stations covering equator to anomaly crest region (0.3 to 33 °N dip) in the Indian sector are used to study the role of EIA and the associated processes on the occurrence of ESF. The study period pertains to the equinoctial months (March, April, September and October) of 1991. The ratios of critical frequency of F-layer (ƒ0F2) and electron densities at an altitude of 270 km between Ahmedabad (33 °N dip) and Waltair (20 °N dip) are found to shoot up in the afternoon hours on spread-F days showing strengthening of the EIA in the afternoon hours. The study confirms the earlier conclusions made by Raghava Rao et al. and Alex et al. that a well-developed EIA is one of the conditions conducive for the generation of ESF. This study also shows that the location of the crest is also important in addition to the strength of the anomaly.