Long term ionospheric electron content variations over Delhi
Abstract. Ionospheric electron content (IEC) observed at Delhi (geographic co-ordinates: 28.63°N, 77.22°E; geomagnetic co-ordinates: 19.08°N, 148.91°E; dip Latitude 24.8°N), India, for the period 1975–80 and 1986–89 belonging to an ascending phase of solar activity during first halves of solar cycles 21 and 22 respectively have been used to study the diurnal, seasonal, solar and magnetic activity variations. The diurnal variation of seasonal mean of IEC on quiet days shows a secondary peak comparable to the daytime peak in equinox and winter in high solar activity. IECmax (daytime maximum value of IEC, one per day) shows winter anomaly only during high solar activity at Delhi. Further, IECmax shows positive correlation with F10.7 up to about 200 flux units at equinox and 240 units both in winter and summer; for greater F10.7 values, IECmax is substantially constant in all the seasons. IECmax and magnetic activity (Ap) are found to be positively correlated in summer in high solar activity. Winter IECmax shows positive correlation with Ap in low solar activity and negative correlation in high solar activity in both the solar cycles. In equinox IECmax is independent of Ap in both solar cycles in low solar activity. A study of day-to-day variations in IECmax shows single day and alternate day abnormalities, semi-annual and annual variations controlled by the equatorial electrojet strength, and 27-day periodicity attributable to the solar rotation.
Key words: Ionosphere (equatorial ionosphere) · Magnetospheric physics (magnetosphere · ionosphere interactions) · Radio science (ionospheric physics)