Vertical ionization drift velocities and range type spread F in the evening equatorial ionosphere


  • M. A. Abdu,

  • R. T. de Medeiros,

  • J. A. Bittencourt,

  • I. S. Batista


Range type spread F indices in the post sunset hours, determined from ionograms, are compared with F layer vertical velocities, also deduced from ionograms, for a period of one year, over the magnetic equatorial station Fortaleza (geographic coordinates: 4°S, 38°W; dip latitude: 1.8°S), Brazil. Besides good correlation between the two parameters, the results suggest the presence of a certain threshold value for the vertical ionization velocity and a corresponding threshold height for the base of the evening F layer, as one of the necessary conditions for the occurrence of spread F irregularities valid for southern solstice (summer) and equinoctial months. The nature of the possible variabilities in the amplitude of the initial perturbation in the ionization (seeding mechanism), which is another prerequisite for the generation of irregularities, is discussed briefly.