Some features of the equatorial anomaly revealed by ionospheric tomography

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Abstract

The equatorial anomaly in ionization density has been imaged using the computerized ionospheric tomography technique applied to data from a low-latitude ionospheric tomography network. Examples of images representative of typical conditions during equinox and low solar flux are presented and shown to exhibit some characteristic features which have not been observed directly previously. The EA core, comprising the highest density region of the EA, is shown to exhibit a characteristic structure and asymmetry. These characteristics are quantified using measures of the ionospheric slab thickness and altitude, and they are discussed in light of the fountain mechanism which is responsible for formation of the EA.

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