Lunar atmospheric tidal effects in the plasma drifts observed by the Low‐Latitude Ionospheric Sensor Network

Lunar atmospheric tidal effects in the plasma drifts observed by the Low‐Latitude Ionospheric Sensor Network

Vince Eccles,1 Donald D. Rice,1 Jan J. Sojka,1 Cesar E. Valladares,2 Terence Bullett,3 and Jorge L. Chau4

1Space Environment Corporation, Providence, Utah, USA. 2Institute for Scientific Research, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA. 3CIRES, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA. 4Radio Observatorio de Jicamarca, Instituto Geofisico del Peru, Lima, Peru

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, A07309, doi:10.1029/2010JA016282, 2011

Correspondence to:

Cesar Valladares
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Key Points:


Abstract:

Data from the Low‐Latitude Ionospheric Sensor Network are used to examine ionospheric electrodynamics during quiet, low solar conditions from September to
November 2009. The ground‐based magnetometers and the Jicamarca Vertical Incidence Pulsed Ionospheric Radar ionosonde in the Peruvian Sector are used to identify the neutral winds and plasma drifts that control the large‐scale plasma structure of the ionosphere. It is observed that the solar‐ and lunar driven semidiurnal tides have a significant influence on the background electrodynamics during this period of extreme solar minimum. The lunar tidal influence of the ionosphere electrodynamics is a large component of the variation of the vertical drift during the geophysically quiet study period.
A significant portion, though not all, of the variation through the lunar month can be attributed to the lunar semidiurnal tide.

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