Ionospheric climatology at Africa EIA trough stations during descending phase of sunspot cycle 22
Adebesin, BO and Rabiu, AB and Bolaji, OS and Adeniyi, JO and Amory-Mazaudier, C, Ionospheric climatology at Africa EIA trough stations during descending phase of sunspot cycle 22, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 172 pp. 83-99. ISSN 1364-6826 (2018) [Refereed Article]
The African equatorial ionospheric climatology during the descending phase of sunspot-cycle 22 (spanning 1992–1996) was investigated using 3 ionosondes located at Dakar (14.7° N, 342.6° E), Ouagadougou (12.42° N, 358.6° E), and Korhogo (9.51° N, 354.4° E). The variations in the virtual height of the F-layer (h’F), maximum electron density (NmF2), vertical plasma drift (Vp) and zonal electric field (Ey) were presented. Significant decrease in the NmF2 amplitude compared to h’F in all of the stations during the descending period is obvious. While NmF2 magnitude maximizes/minimizes during the E-seasons/J-season, h’F attained highest/lowest altitude in J-season/D-season for all stations. D-season anomaly was evident in NmF2 at all stations. For any season, the intensity (Ibt) of NmF2 noon-bite-out is highest at Dakar owning to fountain effect and maximizes in March-E season. Stations across the EIA trough show nearly coherence ionospheric climatology characteristics whose difference is of latitudinal origin. Hemispheric dependence in NmF2 is obvious, with difference more significant during high-solar activity and closes with decreasing solar activity. The variability in the plasma drift during the entire phase is suggested to emanate from solar flux variations, and additionally from enhanced leakage of electric fields from high-to low-latitudes. Existing African regional model of evening/nightttime pre-reversal plasma drift/sunspot number (PREpeak/R) relationship compares well with experimental observations at all stations with slight over-estimation. The correlation/root-mean-square-deviation (RMSdev) pair between the model and observed Vp during the descending phase recorded 94.9%/0.756, 92.4%/1.526, and 79.1%/3.612 at Korhogo, Ouagadougou and Dakar respectively. The Ey/h’F and Ey/NmF2 relationships suggest that zonal electric field is more active in the lifting of h’F and suppression of NmF2 during high- and moderate-solar activities when compared with low-solar activity. This is the first work to show higher bite-out at the equatorial northern-station (Dakar) than southern-station (Korhogo) using ionosonde data.
electron density, equatorial ionosphere, fountain effect, sunspot cycle, vertical plasma drifts, carrier concentration, electric fields, electron density measurement, F region, fountains, radiosondes, solar energy, solar radiation, ionosonde data