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F-region plasma drifts over Arecibo: Solar cycle, seasonal and magnetic activityeffects
Journal of Geophysical Research (1993)
  • Bela G. Fejer, Utah State University
We have used Arecibo incoherent scatter measurements from 1981 to 1990 to determine the characteristics of low-latitude F region plasma drifts. The measurements show large day-to-day variability even during magnetically quiet periods. The average poleward/perpendicular plasma drifts do not change significantly with season and solar cycle except in the midnight-morning sector. The zonal drifts show clear solar cycle and seasonal effects. The afternoon-nighttime eastward drifts increase with solar flux; the westward drifts in the early morning-afternoon sector show a large increase from summer to winter but are independent of solar activity. The two perpendicular velocity components also respond differently to magnetic activity. The average northward/perpendicular drifts decrease with magnetic activity during the day but do not exhibit a systematic response at night. The zonal component shows increased westward drifts occurring predominantly at night. The plasma drifts along the magnetic field lines exhibit large altitudinal and seasonal variations, particularly near solar minimum, and are generally anticorrelated with the perpendicular/north drifts. The drift patterns observed by the Arecibo and the middle and upper atmosphere radars have significantly different seasonal dependence. This can be explained by electrodynamic effects in the corresponding local and conjugate ionospheres. The large longitudinal variation of the quiet time F region plasma drifts results from the displacement between the geographic and dip equators and from magnetic field declination effects. In general, the longitudinal variation should also depend on magnetic activity.
  • F region,
  • plasma,
  • drifts,
  • Arecibo,
  • Solar,
  • cycle,
  • seasonal,
  • variations,
  • electrodynamics
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publisher Statement
Copyright 1993 by the American Geophysical Union. DOI: 10.1029/93JA00953
Citation Information
Fejer, B. G., F-region plasma drifts over Arecibo: Solar cycle, seasonal and magnetic activity effects, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 13645, 1993.