TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 64 (No. 6), pp. 577-593, 2012

Equatorial vertical plasma drifts and the measured and IRI model-predicted F2-layer parameters above Ouagadougou during solar minimum

O. S. Oyekola

307-143 Eighth Street, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada M8V 3C8

(Received July 27, 2011; Revised October 16, 2011; Accepted October 20, 2011; Online published July 27, 2012)

Abstract: In this paper, hourly median value of ionosonde measurements: peak height F2-layer (hmF2), F2-layer critical frequency (foF2) and propagation factor M3000F2made at near-equatorial dip latitude, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (12°N, 1.5°W; dip: 1.5°N) and relevant F2-layer parameters: thickness parameter (Bo), electron temperature (Te), ion temperature (Ti), total electron content (TEC) and electron density (Ne) (at the fixed altitude of 300 km) provided by the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) model for the longitude of Ouagadougou are contrasted with the IRI vertical drift model to explore in detail the monthly climatological behavior of equatorial ionosphere and the effects of equatorial electrodynamicson the diurnal structure of F2-layer parameters. The analysis period covers four months representative of solstitial and equinoctial seasonal periods during solar minimum year of 1987 for geomagnetically quiet-day. It is demonstrated that the month-by-month morphological patterns between vertical E × B drifts and F2-layer parameters range from worst to reasonably good and are largely seasonally dependent. A cross-correlation analysis conducted between equatorial drift and F2-layer characteristics yield statistically significant correlations for equatorial vertical drift and IRI-Bo, IRI-Te and IRI-TEC, whereas little or no acceptable correlation is obtained with observational evidence. Examination of the association between measured foF2, hmF2 and M3000F2illustrates consistent much more smaller correlation coefficients with no systematic linkage.
Key words: Equatorial-ionosphere, vertical-drift, ionospheric-parameter, correlation-analysis, solar-minimum, IRI.

Corresponding author E-mail: oyedemio@yahoo.com

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