Open Access

Characteristics of the equatorial electrojet current in the central region of South America

Earth, Planets and Space200860:BF03353126

Received: 8 October 2007

Accepted: 18 February 2008

Published: 4 July 2008


We describe here for the first time the morphology of the equatorial electrojet (EEJ) in the Central American Sector based on an analysis of the geomagnetic field components from six stations distributed on both sides of the dip equator along the 60°W geographic longitude sector. Diurnal and latitudinal variations in the horizontal and vertical components are shown to follow the Chapman model of EEJ. The horizontal component vector due to the ionospheric current aligned itself close to magnetic north, with a mean Declination of 10°W (ranging from 9°W to 14°W). There was a significant counter-electrojet effect before sunrise at stations close to the dip equator, suggesting late reversal of solar-quiet (Sq) electric field in the morning hours. The observed variations in the magnetic meridional current did not seem to be associated with EEJ currents. The centre of the electrojet was around 0.25°S of the dip equator in the morning hours and shifted gradually to 1.5°S by the evening hours. Magnetic storms occurring during the midday hours produced an exceptionally large decrease in the H (horizontal component) field at stations close to the dip equator.

Key words

Equatorial electrojet magnetic storm effects abnormal large Declination region dip equator in Central American Sector sunrise counter-electrojet