Open Access

Observations and modeling of 630 nm airglow and total electron content associated with traveling ionospheric disturbances over Shigaraki, Japan

  • T. Ogawa1Email author,
  • N. Balan1, 3,
  • Y. Otsuka1,
  • K. Shiokawa1, 4,
  • C. Ihara1,
  • T. Shimomai1 and
  • A. Saito2
Earth, Planets and Space201454:BF03352420

Received: 31 October 2000

Accepted: 13 April 2001

Published: 18 June 2014


Southwestward-propagating medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MSTIDs) observed over Shigaraki (34.85°N, 136.10°E) in Japan on the night of May 22, 1998 are analyzed in detail. The MSTIDs were detected with a 630.0 nm (OI) all-sky imager at Shigaraki and a large number of GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers distributed around Shigaraki. Each GPS receiver provided total electron content (TEC) between the GPS altitude (20,200 km) and the ground. MSTID amplitudes varied in space and time, and showed decay and enhancement during the southwestward propagation, suggesting that amplitudes of atmospheric gravity waves and the interaction process between gravity waves and F region plasma were highly variable. It is found that spatial and temporal fluctuations of the 630 nm intensity are well correlated with those of GPS-TEC except for a certain period of time. The Scheffield University Plasmasphere Ionosphere Model (SUPIM) is used to obtain theoretical relationships between the 630 nm airglow intensity and GPS-TEC and between their fluctuation amplitudes. The results indicate that the fluctuation amplitudes observed in weak airglow regions are caused by an electron density fluctuation of about ±20% occurring around an altitude of 250 km, where the 630 nm emission rate reaches a maximum, below the F layer peak altitude. Highly enhanced 630 nm intensity and GPS-TEC within a bright airglow region are due to an electron density enhancement of about 150% occurring at altitudes below 300 km.