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Multiple Ionospheric Descending Layers Over Arecibo
  • Selvaraj Dharmalingam,
  • Mani Sivakandan,
  • Michael P. Sulzer
Selvaraj Dharmalingam
Arecibo Observatory / UCF

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Mani Sivakandan
Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Rostock
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Michael P. Sulzer
Arecibo Observatory
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Observations using Arecibo Observatory’s highly sensitive Incoherent Scattering Radar (AO-ISR) show ionospheric descending layers from as high as $\sim$400 km, much higher than earlier studies, with continuity down to 90 km. The AO-ISR was operated to observe the ion-line and plasma-line with coded-long-pulse for high temporal and spatial resolution of 35/10 seconds and 300 m, respectively, during 01-06 February 2019. We found multiple layering structures descending from 400 km to 90 km in all these six days. These layers are traditionally called intermediate descending layers (IDLs) ($>$130 km and below F-peak), upper semi-diurnal daytime $\&$ nighttime layers (110 km-130 km), and lower diurnal layers($<$110 km). We have denoted the new daytime descending layers above the hmF2 as top-side descending layers (TDLs). All these layers are collectively named ion descending layers (IonDLs) since all of them are connected with some discontinuity at the F1-peak (i.e., 170 km), except for the daytime lower-diurnal layer. The most pronounced IonDLs occur in the twilight times. IonDLs mainly occur in shear zones of the vertical ion drifts and are favored by downward ion drifts, and their descent speeds increase with increasing altitude. The estimated phase velocities of the waves in the F-region are comparable with the descending speed of the IonDLs. Furthermore, IonDLs/IDLs occur with and without spread-F events but intensified spread-F events raise their beginning altitude. The TDLs and IDLs are driven by gravity waves with time periods of 1.5-4 hours.
01 Apr 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
04 Apr 2023Published in ESS Open Archive