Modeling the F2 layer peak height in terms of atmospheric pressure


  • H. Rishbeth,

  • R. Edwards


Ionospheric data from several stations are used to verify that, at any given local time, the mid-latitude F2 peak tends to lie at fixed values of atmospheric pressure, as expected from theory. The pressure values are found empirically to be about 2 × 10−10 atmosphere at noon, 2 × 10−11 atmosphere at midnight. Given that the global Mass Spectrometer/Incoherent Scatter (MSIS) model of the neutral thermosphere is now readily available, we suggest that the “constant pressure” approach provides a simple way of modeling the height hmF2 for practical purposes, for a wide range of solar and geomagnetic activity, with better consistency than is given by methods based on ionosonde data alone.