Fast and Ultrafast Kelvin Wave Modulations of the Equatorial Evening F Region Vertical Drift and Spread F Development


Abdu, M. A., Brum, C. G. M., Batista, P. P., Gurubaran, S., Pancheva, D., Bageston, J. V., . . . Takahashi, H. (2015). Fast and ultrafast Kelvin wave modulations of the equatorial evening F region vertical drift and spread F development. Earth, Planets and Space, 67.


In this paper, we investigate the role of eastward and upward propagating fast (FK) and ultrafast Kelvin (UFK) waves in the day-to-day variability of equatorial evening prereversal vertical drift and post sunset generation of spread F/plasma bubble irregularities. Meteor wind data from Cariri and Cachoeira Paulista (Brazil) and medium frequency (MF) radar wind data from Tirunelveli (India) are analyzed together with Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics/Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (TIMED/SABER) temperature in the 40- to 100-km region to characterize the zonal and vertical propagations of these waves. Also analyzed are the F region evening vertical drift and spread F (ESF) development features as diagnosed by Digisonde (Lowell Digisonde International, LLC, Lowell, MA, USA) operated at Fortaleza and Sao Luis in Brazil. The SABER temperature data permitted determination of the upward propagation characteristics of the FK (E1) waves with propagation speed in the range of 4 km/day. The radar mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) winds in the widely separated longitude sectors have yielded the eastward phase velocity of both the FK and UFK waves. The vertical propagation of these waves cause strong oscillation in the F region evening prereversal vertical drift, observed for the first time at both FK and UFK periodicities. A delay of a few (approximately 10) days is observed in the F region vertical drift perturbation with respect to the corresponding FK/UFK zonal wind oscillations, or temperature oscillations in the MLT region, which has permitted a direct identification of the sunset electrodynamic coupling process as being responsible for the generation of the FK/UFK-induced vertical drift oscillation. The vertical drift oscillations are found to cause significant modulation in the spread F/plasma bubble irregularity development. The overall results highlight the role of FK/UFK waves in the day-to-day variability of the ESF in its occurrence season.

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