Open Access

Equatorial electrojet studies from rocket and ground measurements

Earth, Planets and Space201452:BF03351619

Received: 5 July 1999

Accepted: 15 November 1999

Published: 20 June 2014


Combining the data of in-situ measurements of ionospheric current, Jm by rocket-borne instruments and the ground based geomagnetic H field close to the magnetic equator a linear relation has been found between the peak current density Jm and the daily range of H, (RH). This relationship has been used to convert long series of RH data into Jm. Combining Jm and the E-region peak electron density Nm, the electron velocity in the ionosphere, VE has been calculated. It is shown that after all corrections are made of the solar zenith angle variations, the ionospheric current as well as electron drift in American and Indian sectors show strong equinoctial maxima, the mean values of both the parameters are larger at American than in Indian sector. The solar cycle variation of the electrojet current is primarily due to the variations of NmE, and not due to the variations of electric field. The diurnal variation of the electric field with peak at 09–10 LT interacting with noon peak of NmE making ΔH to peak at an hour earlier than noon. It is stressed to realise the importance of electric field in diurnal, seasonal and longitudinal variations of the equatorial electrojet current.