Wave structures of the plasma density and vertical E$\times$ B drift in low-latitude F region

We investigate the seasonal, longitudinal, local time (LT), and altitudinal variations of the F region morphology at low latitudes using data from the first Republic of China satellite (ROCSAT-1), Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI), on board the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite, and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F13 and F15 satellites. Signatures of the longitudinally periodic plasma density structure emerge before 0900 LT. The wave structure is established before noon and further amplified in the afternoon. The amplitudes of the wave structure start to diminish in the evening. The wave-4 structure is clearly distinguishable during equinox and northern hemisphere summer. During northern hemisphere winter, the density structure can be characterized to either wave-4 or wave-3 structure owing to marginal separation of the two peaks in 180°–300°E. Observations of similar density structures from ROCSAT-1 (600 km) and DMSP (840 km) at 0930 and 1800 LT indicate the extension of the wave structure to altitudes greater than 840 km. The daytime wave structure persists into the night during the equinoxes but is significantly modified during the solstices. The modification is more significant at higher altitudes and is attributed to the effects of interhemispheric winds and the prereversal enhancement. The formation of the wavelike density structure in the morning and its temporal evolution in the afternoon show a close association with the vertical E × B drift. We conclude that the E × B drift during 0900–1200 LT determines the formation of the wavelike density structure.
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Journal of Geophysical Research
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