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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 34, issue 7
Ann. Geophys., 34, 581–590, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-34-581-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 34, 581–590, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-34-581-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 12 Jul 2016

Regular paper | 12 Jul 2016

Daytime twin-peak structures observed at southern African and European middle latitudes on 8–13 April 2012

Zama T. Katamzi1,2, John Bosco Habarulema1,2, and Nigussie M. Giday1,2 Zama T. Katamzi et al.
  • 1South African National Space Agency (SANSA), Space Science, Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa
  • 2Department of Physics and Electronics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Abstract. Daytime twin-peak structures, also known as bite-out or diurnal double-maxima structures, are ionospheric phenomena in which the diurnal ionospheric trend shows two peaks (instead of the normal one) during the daytime. This study reports on first simultaneous observations of these structures in the Global Positioning System and ionosonde measurements from the southern African and European middle-latitude stations during a mostly quiet geomagnetic condition period of 8–13 April 2012, which indicates that their occurrence and therefore driving mechanism(s) may not be localised. It is found that the daytime twin-peak structures generally appear later in the Northern Hemisphere with a 1–3 h latency although they propagate mostly equatorward in both hemispheres. Proxies of meridional neutral winds were calculated from available manually scaled ionosonde measurements and used to explore their potential as drivers of the structures. Bite-out events were linked to downward drifts of the vertical component of equivalent neutral winds causing plasma depletions. In addition, evidence of sporadic E layers at the same time as enhancements of daytime twin-peak structures suggests that the tides had influence via the meridional wind shear in generating these structures through the dynamo electric field which resulted in upward E  ×  B drifts.

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Daytime twin-peak structures, also known as bite-out or diurnal double-maxima structures, are ionospheric phenomena in which the diurnal ionospheric trend shows two peaks (instead of the normal one) during the daytime. This study reports on first simultaneous observations of these structures in the Global Positioning System and ionosonde measurements from the southern African and European middle-latitude stations during a mostly quiet geomagnetic condition period of 8–13 April 2012.
Daytime twin-peak structures, also known as bite-out or diurnal double-maxima structures, are...
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