Articles | Volume 23, issue 7
13 Oct 2005
 | 13 Oct 2005

Multi-layer structure of mid-latitude sporadic-E observed during the SEEK-2 campaign

M. Wakabayashi and T. Ono

Abstract. In the mid-latitude ionospheric region, sporadic-E layers (Es layers) have often been observed, revealing multiple layers. The Es layers observed during the SEEK-2 rocket campaign showed double electron density peaks; namely, there are stable lower peaks and relatively unstable upper peaks. We examined the effects of wind shear and the electric fields on the generation of the multiple layer structure, in comparison with the electron density profile, the neutral wind, and the DC electric field observed by the S310 rocket experiments. The results showed that the neutral wind shear is mainly responsible for the generation of the lower layer, while the DC electric field makes a significant contribution to the formation of the upper layer. The difference between the lower and upper layers was also explained by the enhanced AC electric field observed at about 103–105 km altitude. The external DC electric field intensity is expected to be ~5 mV/m, which is enough to contribute to generate the Es layers in the ionosphere.

Keywords. Ionosphere (Electric fields; Ionospheric irregularities, Mid-latitude ionosphere)