HF Doppler observations of vector plasma drifts in the evening F-region at the magnetic equator

Balan, N. ; Jayachandran, B. ; Nair, R. Balachandran ; Namboothiri, S. P. ; Bailey, G. J. ; Rao, P. B. (1992) HF Doppler observations of vector plasma drifts in the evening F-region at the magnetic equator Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, 54 (11-12). pp. 1545-1554. ISSN 0021-9169

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Official URL: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/002191...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0021-9169(92)90162-E


Using HF Doppler radar in a spaced-receiver configuration, observations conducted on the vector plasma drifts in the equatorial F-region at Trivandrum during the afternoon-midnight period of March-April 1988, are presented. The three components of the F-region plasma drift at the magnetic equator are such that the North-South component corresponds to the meridional neutral air wind while the other two components represent the electrodynamic drift. The vertical component of the plasma drift is characterized by a prereversal upward enhancement which fits the interpretation based on the F-region dynamo operating at sunset. Equatorial spread-F, which is linked to the prereversal enhancement, appears to be inhibited during the main phase of magnetic storms. The East-West component of the plasma drift is westward during the afternoon and eastward during the night with mean peak velocities of 30 and 110 ms-1, respectively. The large night-time drift is believed to be due to a large reduction in the degree of electromagnetic coupling between the E- and F-regions during the night. The North-South component, representing the meridional neutral air wind, is found to be northward during the afternoon and southward during the night with respective mean peak velocities of about 50 and 70 m s -1. The neutral air wind shows a tendency to reverse from southward to northward at around midnight and is thought to be caused by the midnight bulge in the neutral air temperature. The observations which correspond to the lower F-region are found to be consistent with those reported earlier using other experimental techniques.

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