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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 36, issue 2 | Copyright

Special issue: Space weather connections to near-Earth space and the...

Ann. Geophys., 36, 609-620, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 09 Apr 2018

Regular paper | 09 Apr 2018

Impact of disturbance electric fields in the evening on prereversal vertical drift and spread F developments in the equatorial ionosphere

Mangalathayil A. Abdu1,2, Paulo A. B. Nogueira2, Angela M. Santos2, Jonas R. de Souza2, Inez S. Batista2, and Jose H. A. Sobral2 Mangalathayil A. Abdu et al.
  • 1Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA), DCTA, São Jose dos Campos, Brazil
  • 2Divisão de Aeronomia, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, São José dos Campos, 12227-010, São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract. Equatorial plasma bubble/spread F irregularity occurrence can present large variability depending upon the intensity of the evening prereversal enhancement in the zonal electric field (PRE), that is, the F region vertical plasma drift, which basically drives the post-sunset irregularity development. Forcing from magnetospheric disturbances is an important source of modification and variability in the PRE vertical drift and of the associated bubble development. Although the roles of magnetospheric disturbance time penetration electric fields in the bubble irregularity development have been studied in the literature, many details regarding the nature of the interaction between the penetration electric fields and the PRE vertical drift still lack our understanding. In this paper we have analyzed data on F layer heights and vertical drifts obtained from digisondes operated in Brazil to investigate the connection between magnetic disturbances occurring during and preceding sunset and the consequent variabilities in the PRE vertical drift and associated equatorial spread F (ESF) development. The impact of the prompt penetration under-shielding eastward electric field and that of the over-shielding, and disturbance dynamo, westward electric field on the evolution of the evening PRE vertical drift and thereby on the ESF development are briefly examined.

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Short summary
Equatorial ionospheric irregularities have a significant detrimental impact on a variety of space application systems in navigation and communication areas that utilize satellites, especially the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) network. The development of these irregularities in the nighttime ionosphere is controlled primarily by ionospheric electric fields and instabilities. The effect of magnetic disturbance on these electric fields and on the irregularities is investigated here.
Equatorial ionospheric irregularities have a significant detrimental impact on a variety of...