Satellite Traces: an Ionogram Signature for Large-Scale Wave Structure and a Precursor for Equatorial Spread F


Tsunoda, R. T. (2008). Satellite traces: An ionogram signature for large‐scale wave structure and a precursor for equatorial spread F. Geophysical Research Letters, 35(20).


Although the source that controls day-to-day variability in the occurrence of equatorial plasma structure (i.e., equatorial spread F, or ESF) remains to be identified, progress is being made. There is evidence that the appearance of large-scale wave structure (LSWS) in the bottomside F layer, around the time of its post-sunset rise (PSSR), is a more-direct precursor of ESF than the PSSR itself. The bulk of the evidence, however, is in the form of “satellite” F traces in ionograms, which may be viewed as less than convincing, because these signatures have not been shown to be causally related to LSWS. In this paper, incoherent-scatter radar and ionosonde data, both collected on 24 July 1979 from the Kwajalein atoll, Marshall Islands, are used to show that this is indeed the case.

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