Articles | Volume 31, issue 8
Regular paper
30 Aug 2013
Regular paper |  | 30 Aug 2013

Ionospheric E–F valley observed by a sounding rocket at the low-latitude station Hainan

J. K. Shi, Z. Wang, K. Torkar, M. Friedrich, X. Wang, C. Liu, Y. B. Guan, and G. W. Zhu

Abstract. According to the sounding rocket experiment conducted at Hainan ionospheric observatory (19.5° N, 109.1° E), a valley between the E layer and F layer in the ionospheric electron density profile is observed and presented. The sounding rocket was launched in the morning (06:15 LT) on 7 May 2011, and the observed electron density profile outside the valley agrees with the simultaneous observation by the DPS-4 digisonde at the same station. The width of the observed valley was about 42 km, the depth almost 50%, and the altitude of the electron density minimum 123.5 km. This is the first observation of the E–F valley in the low-latitude region in the East Asian sector. The results are also compared with models, and the physical mechanism of the observed valley is discussed in this paper.