Articles | Volume 29, issue 7
19 Jul 2011
 | 19 Jul 2011

Investigation of the response time of the equatorial ionosphere in context of the equatorial electrojet and equatorial ionization anomaly

L. Jose, S. Ravindran, C. Vineeth, T. K. Pant, and S. Alex

Abstract. Equatorial Electrojet (EEJ) and Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA) are two large-scale processes in the equatorial/low latitude ionosphere, driven primarily by the eastward electric field during daytime. In the present paper we investigate the correlation between the Integrated EEJ strength (IEEJ) and the EIA parameters like the total electron content at the northern crest, location of crest in Magnetic latitude and strength of the EIA for the Indian sector. A good correlation has been observed between the IEEJ and EIA when a time delay is introduced between IEEJ and EIA parameters. This time delay is regarded as the response time of equatorial ionosphere in context of the evolution of EIA vis-à-vis EEJ. Further, a seasonal variation in the time delay has been observed, which is believed to be due to changes in thermospheric wind. Using the response time and the linear relationship obtained, the possibility of near-real time prediction of EIA parameters has been attempted and found that the prediction holds well during the geomagnetically quiet periods. The paper discusses these aspects in detail.