West African equatorial ionospheric parameters climatology based on Ouagadougou ionosonde station data from June 1966 to February 1998
Abstract. This study is the first which gives the climatology of West African equatorial ionosphere by using Ouagadougou station through three solar cycles. It has permitted to show the complete morphology of ionosphere parameters by analyzing yearly variation, solar cycle and geomagnetic activity, seasonal evolution and diurnal development. This work shows that almost all ionospheric parameters have 11-year solar cycle evolution. Seasonal variation shows that only foF2 exhibits annual, winter and semiannual anomaly. foF2 seasonal variation has permitted us to identify and characterize solar events effects on F2 layer in this area. In fact (1) during quiet geomagnetic condition foF2 presents winter and semiannual anomalies asymmetric peaks in March/April and October. (2) The absence of winter anomaly and the presence of equinoctial peaks are the most visible effects of fluctuating activity in foF2 seasonal time profiles. (3) Solar wind shock activity does not modify the profile of foF2 but increases ionization. (4) The absence of asymmetry peaks, the location of the peaks in March and October and the increase of ionization characterize recurrent storm activity. F1 layers shows increasing trend from cycle 20 to cycle 21. Moreover, E layer parameters seasonal variations exhibit complex structure. It seems impossible to detect fluctuating activity effect in E layer parameters seasonal variations but shock activity and wind stream activity act to decrease E layer ionization. It can be seen from Es layer parameters seasonal variations that wind stream activity effect is fairly independent of solar cycle. E and Es layers critical frequencies and virtual heights diurnal variations let us see the effects of the greenhouse gases in these layers.