The field of the equatorial electrojet from CHAMP data
Abstract. We apply a simple linear transform, the along-track second derivative, to four years of scalar and vectorial data from the CHAMP satellite. This transform, reminiscent of techniques used in the interpretation of aeromagnetic surveys, is applied either to the geocentric spherical components of the field or to its intensity. After averaging in time and space, we first produce a map of the crustal field, then maps of the equatorial electrojet field at all local times and all universal times. The seasonal variation of the electrojet, its evolution with the solar cycle, and the effect of geomagnetic activity are discussed. The variation of the electrojet with longitude, an intriguing feature revealed by satellite data, is described in some detail, and it is shown that this longitude dependance is stable in time. The existence of a counterelectrojet in the morning, everywhere except over the Pacific Ocean, is established. The signatures of closure electric currents and of interhemispheric currents are also evidenced.