The ionospheric variabilities due to planetary waves (PWs) are complicated due to their nonlinear interaction with tides (migrating diurnal and semidiurnal tides [DW1 and SW2]) in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere region. The quasi‐two day wave (QTDW) is the most dominant oscillation during austral summer period except tides. This paper quantitatively studies the contribution of W3 QTDW, secondary PWs generated by the QTDW‐tide interaction, and the change of tides to the ionospheric vertical drift variabilities. It is found that the secondary PWs generated by the QTDW‐DW1 interaction (16 hr W4 and 48 hr E2) contribute more to the ionospheric variability than those generated by the QTDW‐SW2 interaction (9.6 hr W5 and 16 hr E1). The latitudinal distribution of the vertical drift induced by tides and PWs varies due to their different wind structures. The vertical drift induced by DW1 is weakened at all latitudes due to the existence of W3 QTDW, whereas the SW2‐induced vertical drift is enhanced at low latitudes and decreased at middle latitudes. The W3 QTDW induces weaker vertical drift in the equatorial region than that induced by 16 hr W4, 48 hr E2, and the change of tides. At middle latitudes, the vertical drift induced by W3 QTDW is slightly stronger than that induced by 48 hr E2 and the change of DW1 but is comparable to that induced by 16 hr W4 and the change of SW2. Our simulations show that the changes of tidal amplitudes and secondary PWs are as important as the QTDW itself to the day‐to‐day ionospheric variabilities.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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