Articles | Volume 24, issue 3
19 May 2006
 | 19 May 2006

A study of the ionogram derived effective scale height around the ionospheric hmF2

L. Liu, W. Wan, and B. Ning

Abstract. The diurnal, seasonal, and solar activity variations of the ionogram derived scale height around the ionospheric F-layer peak (Hm) are statistically analyzed at Wuhan (114.4° E, 30.6° N) and the yearly variations of Hm are also investigated for Wuhan and 12 other stations where Hm data are available. Hm, as a measure of the slope of the topside electron number density profiles, is calculated from the bottomside electron density profiles derived from vertical sounding ionograms using the UMLCAR SAO-Explorer. Results indicate that the value of median Hm increases with increasing solar flux. Hm is highest in summer and lowest in winter during the daytime, while it exhibits a much smaller seasonal variation at night. A common feature presented at these 13 stations is that Hm undergoes a yearly annual variation with a maximum in summer during the daytime. The annual variation becomes much weaker or disappears from late night to pre-sunrise. In addition, a moderate positive correlation is found between Hm with hmF2 and a strong correlation between the bottomside thickness parameter B0 and Hm. The latter provides a new and convenient way for empirical modeling the topside ionospheric shape only from the established B0 parameter set.