Coherent seasonal, annual, and quasi-biennial variations in ionospheric tidal/SPW amplitudes


In this study, we examine the coherent spatial and temporal modes dominating the variation of selected ionospheric tidal and stationary planetary wave (SPW) signatures from 2007 to 2013 FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate) total electron content observations using multidimensional ensemble empirical mode decomposition (MEEMD) from the Hilbert-Huang Transform. We examine the DW1, SW2, DE3, and SPW4 components, which are driven by a variety of in situ and vertical coupling sources. The intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) resolved by MEEMD analysis allows for the isolation of the dominant modes of variability for prominent ionospheric tidal/SPW signatures in a manner not previously used, allowing the effects of specific drivers to be examined individually. The time scales of the individual IMFs isolated for all tidal/SPW signatures correspond to a semiannual variation at equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) latitudes maximizing at the equinoxes, as well as annual oscillations at the EIA crests and troughs. All tidal/SPW signatures show one IMF isolating an ionospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the equatorial latitudes maximizing around January of odd-numbered years. This total electron content QBO variation is in phase with a similar QBO variation isolated in both the Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) zonal mean column O/N2 density ratio (ΣO/N2) and the F10.7 solar radio flux index around solar maximum, while showing temporal variation more similar to that of GUVI ΣO/N2 during the time around the 2008/2009 extended solar minimum. These results point to both quasi-biennial variations in solar irradiance and thermosphere/ionosphere composition as a generation mechanism for the ionospheric QBO.

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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