Observations and model calculations of an additional layer in the topside ionosphere above Fortaleza, Brazil
Abstract. Calculations using the Sheffield University plasmasphere ionosphere model have shown that under certain conditions an additional layer can form in the low latitude topside ionosphere. This layer (the F3 layer) has subsequently been observed in ionograms recorded at Fortaleza in Brazil. It has not been observed in ionograms recorded at the neighbouring station São Luis. Model calculations have shown that the F3 layer is most likely to form in summer at Fortaleza due to a combination of the neutral wind and the E×B drift acting to raise the plasma. At the location of São Luis, almost on the geomagnetic equator, the neutral wind has a smaller vertical component so the F3 layer does not form.