The solar activity dependence of nonmigrating tides in electron density at low and middle latitudes observed by CHAMP and GRACE
Abstract. In this paper we use more than a decade of in situ electron density observations from CHAMP and GRACE satellites to investigate the solar activity dependence of nonmigrating tides at both low and middle latitudes. The results indicate that the longitudinal patterns of F region electron density vary with season and latitude, which are exhibiting a wavenumber 4 (WN4) pattern around September equinox at low latitudes and WN1/WN2 patterns during local summer at the southern/northern middle latitudes. These wave patterns in the F region ionosphere can clearly be seen during both solar maximum and minimum years. At low latitudes the absolute amplitudes of DE3 (contributing to the WN4 pattern) are found to be highly related to the solar activity, showing larger amplitudes during solar maximum years. Similarly a solar activity dependence can also be found for the absolute amplitudes of D0, DW2 and DE1 (contributing to the WN1 and WN2 pattern) at middle latitudes. The relative amplitudes (normalized by the zonal mean) of these nonmigrating tides at both low and middle altitudes show little dependence on solar activity. We further found a clear modulation by the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) of the relative DE3 amplitudes in both satellite observations, which is consistent with the QBO dependence as reported for the E region temperatures and zonal wind. It also supports the strong coupling of the low-latitude nonmigrating tidal activity between the E and F regions. However, the QBO dependence cannot be found for the relative amplitudes of the nonmigrating tides at middle latitudes, which implies that these tides are generated in situ at F region altitudes.