Radar and satellite global equatorial F region vertical drift model

Authors

  • L. Scherliess,

  • B. G. Fejer


Abstract

We present the first global empirical model for the quiet time F region equatorial vertical drifts based on combined incoherent scatter radar observations at Jicamarca and Ion Drift Meter observations on board the Atmospheric Explorer E satellite. This analytical model, based on products of cubic-B splines and with nearly conservative electric fields, describes the diurnal and seasonal variations of the equatorial vertical drifts for a continuous range of all longitudes and solar flux values. Our results indicate that during solar minimum, the evening prereversal velocity enhancement exhibits only small longitudinal variations during equinox with amplitudes of about 15–20 m/s, is observed only in the American sector during December solstice with amplitudes of about 5–10 m/s, and is absent at all longitudes during June solstice. The solar minimum evening reversal times are fairly independent of longitude except during December solstice. During solar maximum, the evening upward vertical drifts and reversal times exhibit large longitudinal variations, particularly during the solstices. In this case, for a solar flux index of 180, the June solstice evening peak drifts maximize in the Pacific region with drift amplitudes of up to 35 m/s, whereas the December solstice velocities maximize in the American sector with comparable magnitudes. The equinoctial peak velocities vary between about 35 and 45 m/s. The morning reversal times and the daytime drifts exhibit only small variations with the phase of the solar cycle. The daytime drifts have largest amplitudes between about 0900 and 1100 LT with typical values of 25–30 m/s. We also show that our model results are in good agreement with other equatorial ground-based observations over India, Brazil, and Kwajalein.

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