Equatorial sporadic E and cross-field instability

Rastogi, R. G. (1972) Equatorial sporadic E and cross-field instability Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Section A, 76 (5). pp. 181-194. ISSN 0370-0089

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Official URL: http://www.ias.ac.in/j_archive/proca/76/5/181-194/...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03048126


The occurrence of sporadic E at an equatorial station during magnetically quiet daytime conditions corresponds almost exactly to the time during which the horizontal component of the earth's magnetic field is above the mean night time level. Any large decrease of H below the night time level is accompanied by the disappearance of equatorial Es-q reflections precisely for the period when the value of H remains below its night time level. Such disappearance of Es-q can be attributed to the reversal of the current equal to, or greater than, the normal eastward equatorial electrojet current. During magnetically disturbed conditions, however, the depressions in H are not always accompanied by the disappearance of Es-q. Whenever the normal E and sporadic E reflections can be resolved on the equatorial ionograms, the minimum virtual height of the normal E is seen to be clearly greater than that of the sporadic E layer. The creation of E region irregularities at equatorial latitudes giving the appearance of an Es-q layer in daytime ionograms is suggested to be due to cross-field (plasma gradient) instability. The horizontal magnetic field and the upward Hall polarisation (electric) field produce irregularities in the lower E-region where the rate of increase of ambient electron density is large and directed upward. A temporary reversal of the electrojet current indicated by a decrease in H below the night time level and the disappearance of Es-q are due to the temporary reversal of the vertical Hall polarisation field making it downward instead of upward which being opposite to the direction of the gradient of plasma density inhibits the cross-field instabilities.

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