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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 21, issue 12
Ann. Geophys., 21, 2323–2328, 2003
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-21-2323-2003
© Author(s) 2003. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 21, 2323–2328, 2003
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-21-2323-2003
© Author(s) 2003. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  31 Dec 2003

31 Dec 2003

Study of mid-latitude nighttime enhancement in F-region electron density using tomographic images over the UK

R. S. Dabas1 and L. Kersley2 R. S. Dabas and L. Kersley
  • 1Radio and Atmospheric Sciences Division, National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi-110012, India
  • 2Department of Physics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, SY23, 3BZ, UK

Abstract. Nighttime enhancements in ionospheric electron content (IEC)/peak electron density (NmF2) have been studied by various workers in the equatorial anomaly and mid-latitude regions. Such studies give an idea about their enhancement over that location only. In the present study tomographic images over the UK, which give a latitudinal versus height distributions of ionospheric electron density in a much wider area, have been used to study the anomalous increases in nighttime F-region electron density at mid-latitudes. From the analysis of four seasonal representative months (November 1997, March, June and October 1998) data it was noted that the majority of the cases of nighttime enhancements were observed after local midnight, with a maximum between 03:00–04:00 LT in the month of November 1997. Enhancements were observed mostly between 45–50° N latitudes, and their positions are not affected by magnetic activity (Kp ) variations, whereas the separation between the mid-latitude trough and enhancement decreases with increases in magnetic activity. This finding shows that only the trough moves equatorward with the increase in magnetic activity. It is also noted that the electron density gradient from the trough to the enhancement increases with an increase in Kp. Results are discussed in terms of downward plasma transport from the protonosphere to the ionosphere and the nighttime neutral winds.

Key words. Ionosphere (mid-latitude ionosphere; modeling and forecasting; instruments and techniques)

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