Geomagnetic and Solar Dependencies of Midlatitude E-Region Irregularity Occurrence Rate: A Climatology Based on Wuhan VHF Radar Observations

By using Wuhan VHF radar, we show the morphological features of E-region field-aligned irregularity (FAI) occurrence at Wuhan during 2015–2020. Statistical results present that E-region FAI occurrence reaches a maximum after sunset in summer season. According to Doppler spectrum features, type-2 irregularity is predominantly observed at Wuhan. In addition, we observed a remarkable correlation between E-region FAI occurrence and geomagnetic activity, which includes periods of positive correlation and negative correlation depending on different geomagnetic conditions. The strong negative correlation also exists between E-region FAI occurrence and solar activity. In our observed results, we find that E-region FAI occurrence shows a strong linkage with local sporadic E (ES) layer. A quantitative analysis of linear theory of plasma instability in the E-region at midlatitudes is also presented in our study. The calculated results of linear growth rate indicate the importance of plasma density gradient of local ES layer and field-line-integrated Pedersen conductivity on the generation of E-region FAI. The geomagnetic and solar variations of E-region FAI occurrence are also discussed in this study, which show a dependence on the geomagnetic and solar variations of both meteor rate and medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbance occurrence.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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