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Delayed traveling ionospheric disturbances, especially in equatorial regions, following geomagnetic activity

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For the Western-Pacific region spread-F has been found to occur with delays after geomagnetic activity (GA) ranging from 5 to 10 days as station groups are considered from low midlatitudes to equatorial regions. The statistical (superposed-epoch) analyses also indicate that at the equator the spread-F, and therefore associated medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MS-TIDs) occur with additional delays around 16, 22 and 28 days representing a 6-day modulation of the delay period. These results are compared with similar delays, including the modulation, for D-region enhanced hydroxyl emission (Shefov, 1969). It is proposed that this similarity may be explained by MS-TIDs influencing both the F and D regions as they travel. Long delays of over 20 days are also found near the equator for airglow-measured MS-TIDs (Sobral et al., 1997). These are recorded infrequently and have equatorward motions, while normally eastward motions are measured at the equator. Also in midlatitudes D-region absorption events have been shown (statistically) to have similar long delays after GA. It is suggested that atmospheric gravity waves and associated MS-TIDs may be generated by some of the precipitations responsible for the absorption. The recording of the delayed spread-F events depends on the GA being well below the average levels around sunset on the nights of recording. This implies that lower upper-atmosphere neutral particle densities are necessary.


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Correspondence to G. G. Bowman.

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Bowman, G.G., Mortimer, I.K. Delayed traveling ionospheric disturbances, especially in equatorial regions, following geomagnetic activity. Earth Planet Sp 55, 483–492 (2003) doi:10.1186/BF03351782

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Key words

  • MS-TIDs
  • Spread-F
  • geomagnetic activity
  • low latitudes