Explanation of the sporadic-E layer formation by comparing FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC data with meteor and wind shear information

Wen Hao Yeh, Jann Yenq Liu, Cheng Yung Huang, Shih Ping Chen

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42 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of the sporadic E (Es) layer can be interpreted in several different ways,withwind shear theory and themeteor ionization mechanism being themost commonly used explanations. Nevertheless, neither the wind shear theory nor the meteor ionization mechanism alone can completely explain the formation of the Es layer. The meteor ionization mechanism cannot interpret the different activity in this layer between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, while the wind shear theory cannot explain the source of the large amount of ionized particles in the Es layer. In this study, the activity in the Es layer is compared with information about meteors and the global vertical speed of ionized particles. The information about meteors is obtained from International Meteor Organization and Radio Meteor Observing Bulletin. The global vertical speed information for ionized particles is calculated using the International Geomagnetic Reference Fieldmodel, HorizontalWind Model (HWM07), and Mass Spectrometer-Incoherent Scatter model. The activity in the Es layer is based on the value of the irregular degree index, which is derived from the signal-to-noise ratio obtained from Formosa Satellite Mission-3/Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC) Global Positioning System radio occultation mission. Taking both wind shear theory and the meteor ionization mechanism together, the source of the ionized particles in the Es layer and the difference in the activity in the Es layer between Northern and Southern Hemispheres can thus be explained more completely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4568-4579
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr 27

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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