Changes of the Ionosphere Caused By the Interaction Between the Quasi-Two-Day Wave and Tides
Friday, 19 December 2014
Traveling planetary waves, such as the quasi-two-day wave (QTDW), are one essential element of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere dynamics. These planetary waves have been observed to cause strong ionospheric day-to-day variations. We have understood that the QTDW can impact the thermosphere and ionosphere either by directly penetrating into the lower thermosphere and modulating E-region dynamo in a period of about 2-days, or by enhancing mixing and decreasing thermosphere O/N2 and in ionospheric electron density. In this work, we introduce the third mechanism of how the QTDW impacts the ionosphere, the QTDW-tidal interactions occurring in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). We employ the NCAR TIME-GCM to simulate the interaction between the QTDW and tides, and the impact of this interaction on the ionospheric E-region dynamo, equatorial fountain effect, and F-region plasma density. We find that the tidal amplitudes and phases are dramatically altered during strong QTDW events during post-solstice. In particular, the amplitudes of the migrating tides can decrease as much as 20-30%. The changed tides result in different dynamo electric field, vertical ion drift, and thus different diurnal and semidiurnal cycles in F-region electron density.