Geophysical Research Letters

Nonlinear equatorial spread F


  • Anthony J. Scannapieco,

  • Sidney L. Ossakow


A numerical simulation of the non-linear evolution of the collisional Rayleigh-Taylor instability using a set of equations appropriate for the equatorial F region ionosphere has been performed. Our results show that the irregularities produced by the instability grow on the bottomside of the F region peak, as predicted by linear theory, and then the irregularities nonlinearly bubble through to the topside, where linear theory predicts no irregularities. Fourier analysis of the irregularities show one dimensional power law power spectrum for both the vertical and horizontal directions.