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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-153
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-153
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: regular paper 03 Dec 2019

Submitted as: regular paper | 03 Dec 2019

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Simultaneous Ground-based and In Situ Swarm Observations of Equatorial F-region Irregularities over Jicamarca

Sharon Aol1, Stephan Buchert2, Edward Jurua1, and Marco Milla3 Sharon Aol et al.
  • 1Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda
  • 2Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 3Radio Observatorio de Jicamarca, Instituto Geofísico del Perú, Lima, Peru

Abstract. Ionospheric irregularities are a common phenomenon in the low latitude ionosphere. They can be seen in situ as depletions of plasma density, radar plasma plumes or ionogram spread F by ionosondes. In this paper, we compared simultaneous observations of plasma plumes by the Jicamarca unattended long term investigations of the ionosphere and atmosphere (JULIA) radar, ionogram spread F generated from ionosonde observations installed at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO), and irregularities observed in situ by Swarm, to determine whether Swarm in situ observations can be used as indicators of the presence of plasma plumes and spread-F on the ground. The study covered the years from 2014 to 2018 when all the data-sets were available. Overall, the results showed that Swarm's in situ density fluctuations on magnetic flux tubes passing over (or near) the JRO may be used as indicators of plasma plumes and spread-F over (or near) the observatory. For Swarm and the ground-based observations, a classification procedure was conducted based on the presence or absence of ionospheric irregularity structures. There was a strong consensus between ground-based observations of irregularity structures and Swarm's depth of disturbance of electron density for most passes. Cases, where irregularity structures were observed on the ground with no apparent variation in the in situ electron density or vice versa, suggest that irregularities may either be localized horizontally or restricted to particular height intervals. The results also showed that the Swarm and ground-based observations of ionospheric irregularities had similar local time statistical trends with the highest occurrence obtained between 20:00 and 22:00 LT. Also, similar seasonal patterns of occurrence of in situ and ground-based ionospheric irregularities were observed with the highest percentage occurrence in December Solstice and Equinoxes and low occurrence in June Solstice. The observed seasonal pattern was explained in terms of the pre-reversal enhancement (PRE) of the vertical plasma drift. Initial findings from this research indicate that fluctuations of in situ density observed meridionally along magnetic field lines passing through JRO can be used as an indication of the existence of well-developed plasma plumes.

Sharon Aol et al.

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Sharon Aol et al.

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Short summary
Ionospheric irregularities are a common phenomenon in the low latitude ionosphere. In this paper, we compared simultaneous observations of plasma plumes by the JULIA radar, ionogram spread F generated from ionosonde observations installed at the JRO, irregularities observed in situ by Swarm to determine whether Swarm in situ observations can be used as indicators of the presence of plasma plumes and spread F on the ground.
Ionospheric irregularities are a common phenomenon in the low latitude ionosphere. In this...
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