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Authors: Pezzopane, M. 
Title: Unusual nighttime impulsive enhancements of electron density characterizing the low-latitude ionosphere: Phenomenology and possible mechanisms of triggering
Issue Date: Sep-2014
Series/Report no.: 4/37(2014)
DOI: 10.1393/ncc/i2014-11799-9
Keywords: Equatorial ionosphere
Ionosphere/atmospheric interactions
Magnetic storms, substorms
Ionosphere/magnetosphere interactions
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.99. General or miscellaneous 
01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.02. Dynamics 
01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.05. Wave propagation 
01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.06. Instruments and techniques 
01. Atmosphere::01.03. Magnetosphere::01.03.02. Magnetic storms 
Abstract: Unusual nighttime impulsive electron density enhancements that are rarely observed at low latitudes on a wide region of South America are here investigated. These phenomena are very atypical because besides being of brief duration, they are characterized by a pronounced compression of the ionosphere. The events were studied and analyzed using both the F2 layer critical frequency (foF2) and the lowest virtual height of the ordinary trace of the F region (h'F) values recorded at five ionospheric stations widely distributed in space. A careful analysis of isoheight ionosonde plots suggests that traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) caused by atmospheric gravity wave (AGW) propagation could play a significant role in causing these phenomena, both for quiet and for medium-high geomagnetic activity; in the latter case however a nocturnal recharging of the fountain effect, due to electric fields penetrating from the magnetosphere, plays an as much significant role.
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