Spatial asymmetry in topside ion density and vertical E \texttimes B plasma drift velocity within 75\textdegreeE\textendash95\textdegreeE


The ion density measured by the Ionospheric Plasma and Electrodynamics Instrument (IPEI) on board the ROCSAT -1 over the 75\textdegreeE and 95\textdegreeE meridian at 600km altitude has been utilized to examine the latitudinal and longitudinal distribution within the Indian sector, in particular, the north-south and east-west asymmetries of the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA). A longitudinal gradient in ion density at 600 km higher towards 95\textdegreeE develops during the noontime and afternoon hours when the EIA is at its peak. The density gradient persists till evening hours when pre-reversal enhancements occur. The vertical E \texttimes B plasma drift velocity measured simultaneously by ROCSAT -1 for the same space-time configuration has also been studied. In addition to diurnal, seasonal and solar activity variations in E \texttimes B drift velocity, the longitudinal gradient is also observed. The EIA at the altitude of 600 km peaks at different latitudes and are mostly asymmetric about the magnetic equator. From midnight till 0800 LT, the ion density across the equator is nearly uniform in the equinoxes. But in the solstices, the density exhibits a north-south gradient. In the June solstice, density is higher in the northern hemisphere and decreases gradually towards south. The gradient in density reverses in December solstice. Normally, the EIA peaks within 1200 LT and 1600 LT while around 2000 LT, pre-reversal enhancement of ionization occurs affecting the EIA evening structure. The strength of the EIA also exhibits seasonal, year-to-year and hemispheric variations. The longitudinal asymmetry of drift velocity along 75\textdegreeE and 95\textdegreeE longitude sectors is the contributing factor behind the observed longitudinal asymmetry in ion density. Significant positive correlation between the strength of the EIA and E \texttimes B drift is observed in both longitudes.

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Advances in Space Research
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