J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 13, 2023
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||06 April 2023|
A height-dependent climatological model of the equatorial ionospheric zonal plasma drifts (EZDrifts): Description and application to an analysis of the longitudinal variations of the zonal drifts
The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX 75080, USA
2 Applied Research Laboratories, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78758, USA
* Corresponding author: Alexander.Massoud@utdallas.edu
Accepted: 1 March 2023
We introduce the implementation of a global climatological model of the equatorial ionospheric F-region zonal drifts (EZDrifts) that is made available to the public. The model uses the analytic description of the zonal plasma drifts presented by Haerendel et al. (1992) [J Geophys Res 97(A2): 1209–1223] and is driven by climatological models of the ionosphere and thermosphere under a realistic geomagnetic field configuration. EZDrifts is an expansion of the model of the zonal drifts first presented by Shidler & Rodrigues (2021) [Prog Earth Planet Sci 8: 26] which was only valid for the Jicamarca longitude sector and two specific solar flux conditions. EZDrifts now uses vertical equatorial plasma drifts from Scherliess & Fejer (1999) [J Geophys Res 104(A4): 6829–6842] model which allows it to provide zonal drifts for any day of the year, longitude, and solar flux condition. We show that the model can reproduce the main results of the Shidler & Rodrigues (2021) [Prog Earth Planet Sci 8: 26] model for the Peruvian sector. We also illustrate an application of EZDrifts by presenting and discussing longitudinal variabilities produced by the model. We show that the model predicts longitudinal variations in the reversal times of the drifts that are in good agreement with observations made by C/NOFS. EZDrifts also predicts longitudinal variations in the magnitude of the drifts that can be identified in the June solstice observations made by C/NOFS. We also point out data-model differences observed during Equinox and December solstice. Finally, we explain that the longitudinal variations in the zonal plasma drifts are caused by longitudinal variations in the latitude of the magnetic equator and, consequently, in the wind dynamo contributing to the resulting drifts. EZDrifts is distributed to the community through a public repository and can be used in applications requiring an estimate of the overall behavior of the equatorial zonal drifts.
Key words: Ionosphere / equatorial / electric fields / drifts / zonal
© A.A. Massoud et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2023
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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