TitleElectrodynamics of ionospheric weather over low latitudes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAbdu, MAli
JournalGeoscience Letters
Volume3
Issue1
Date Published12/2016
Abstract

The dynamic state of the ionosphere at low latitudes is largely controlled by electric fields originating from dynamo actions by atmospheric waves propagating from below and the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction from above. These electric fields cause structuring of the ionosphere in wide ranging spatial and temporal scales that impact on space-based communication and navigation systems constituting an important segment of our technology-based day-to-day lives. The largest of the ionosphere structures, the equatorial ionization anomaly, with global maximum of plasma densities can cause propagation delays on the GNSS signals. The sunset electrodynamics is responsible for the generation of plasma bubble wide spectrum irregularities that can cause scintillation or even disruptions of satellite communication/navigation signals. Driven basically by upward propagating tides, these electric fields can suffer significant modulations from perturbation winds due to gravity waves, planetary/Kelvin waves, and non-migrating tides, as recent observational and modeling results have demonstrated. The changing state of the plasma distribution arising from these highly variable electric fields constitutes an important component of the ionospheric weather disturbances. Another, often dominating, component arises from solar disturbances when coronal mass ejection (CME) interaction with the earth’s magnetosphere results in energy transport to low latitudes in the form of storm time prompt penetration electric fields and thermospheric disturbance winds. As a result, drastic modifications can occur in the form of layer restructuring (Es-, F3 layers etc.), large total electron content (TEC) enhancements, equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) latitudinal expansion/contraction, anomalous polarization electric fields/vertical drifts, enhanced growth/suppression of plasma structuring, etc. A brief review of our current understanding of the ionospheric weather variations and the electrodynamic processes underlying them and some outstanding questions will be presented in this paper.

URLhttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40562-016-0043-6
DOI10.1186/s40562-016-0043-6
Short TitleGeosci. Lett.


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