This study examines the ionosphere response to gravitational forces of the lunar phase and dynamical disturbances of the stratospheric sudden warmings (SSWs). The total electron content (TEC) of global ionosphere maps is employed to examine responses of the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) crests to lunar phases and twelve SSW events during 2000–2013. The most prominent feature in the ionosphere is the EIA, characterized by two enhanced TEC crests at low latitudes straddling the magnetic equator, which can be used to observe ionospheric plasma dynamics and structures. Results show that the EIA crest appearance time on new/full moons (first/third quarters) leads (lags) that of the overall 14-year average, which causes a pattern of TEC morning enhancements (suppressions) and afternoon suppressions (enhancements). A statistical analysis shows that SSWs can also significantly cause the early appearance of EIA crests, regardless of the lunar phase. Thus, both lunar phase and SSWs can significantly modulate the appearance time of EIA crest and ionospheric plasma dynamics and structures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes