Morphology of the Sporadic E layers over Arecibo derived from Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) measurements

Friday, 19 December 2014
Efmi Franco1, Christiano G.M. Brum2 and Shikha Raizada1, (1)Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo, PR, United States, (2)SRI International Menlo Park, Arecibo Observatory, Menlo Park, CA, United States
One of the interesting phenomena of the ionosphere is the occurrence of Sporadic E layers (Es), which is characterized by strong electron concentrations, and is related to the vertical tidal wind shear in the lower thermosphere. We will use the incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) data from Arecibo to investigate the characteristics of the Es below 110km during nighttime. The goal of this project is to study the variability of the nighttime ionization using electron density profiles obtained at the Arecibo Observatory. We will focus on determining the strength of Es, their peak altitude and other parameters between the 90 – 110 km altitude ranges. Previous work has showed that the descending layers are dominated by the tidal influence that displays seasonal variability. To understand the reasons of this variability, we will fit Gaussian profiles to electron density concentrations to extract the layer parameters. Such analysis will allow us to study the role of solar activity, and geomagnetic indices on the layer distributions.