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Authors: Pietrella, M.* 
Pezzopane, M.* 
Scotto, C.* 
Title: Variability of foF2 over Rome and Gibilmanna during three solar cycles (1976-2000)
Journal: Journal of geophysical research - space physics 
Series/Report no.: /117 (2012) American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 16-May-2012
DOI: 10.1029/2011JA017462
Keywords: F2 layer
mid-latitude ionosphere
ionospheric variability
standard deviation
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.99. General or miscellaneous 
01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.02. Dynamics 
Abstract: Hourly validated values of the F2-layer critical frequency (foF2) recorded at Rome, Italy (geographic coordinates 41.8ºN, 12.5ºE; geomagnetic coordinates 42.0ºN, 93.8ºE), and Gibilmanna, Italy (geographic coordinates 37.6ºN, 14.0ºE; geomagnetic coordinates 38.1ºN, 93.6ºE), along with the hourly quiet time reference values of foF2 (foF2QTRV) were considered around periods of minimum and maximum solar activity over the years 1976–2000. The foF2 data set was specifically organized in order to obtain an overall trend both for low and high solar activity, and different dispersion indices were used. The results obtained show that (1) at Rome, the foF2 variability is always greater during periods of high solar activity (HSA) in the hourly ranges 00:00–02:00 UT and 20:00–23:00 UT during winter months, and in the hourly ranges 00:00–10:00 UT and 04:00–16:00 UT during equinoctial and summer months respectively; (2) on the whole, around midday, for low solar activity (LSA), the foF2 variability is smaller at the equinoxes than at the solstices; for HSA, it is greater at equinoxes than at solstices; (3) for LSA, at Gibilmanna the foF2 variability is in general larger than at Rome, especially in summer, and it is characterized by a number of relative minimums and maximums greater than those observed at Rome; (4) at Rome, for both LSA and HSA, the passage of solar terminator at sunset significantly affects ionospheric variability in January, April, August, and November, at Gibilmanna in August, September, and November; (5) several variability peaks before sunrise and after sunset are observed in both stations; (6) on a monthly basis, for both LSA and HSA, a semiannual variation of foF2 variability is observed at both Rome and Gibilmanna; and (7) evidence of ionospheric variability at the typical heights of the F region, connected to upward propagating gravity waves triggered by solar terminator, is observed at Rome during some days characterized by HSA in the equinoctial months.
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