Dusk-to-nighttime enhancement of mid-latitude NmF2 in local summer: inter-hemispheric asymmetry and solar activity dependence
In this paper ionosonde observations in the East Asia–Australia sector were collected to investigate dusk-to-nighttime enhancement of mid-latitude summer NmF2 (maximum electron density of the F2 layer) within the framework of NmF2 diurnal variation. NmF2 were normalized to two solar activity levels to investigate the dependence of the dusk-to-nighttime enhancement on solar activity. The dusk-to-nighttime enhancement of NmF2 is more evident at Northern Hemisphere stations than at Southern Hemisphere stations, with a remarkable latitudinal dependence. The dusk-to-nighttime enhancement shows both increasing and declining trends with solar activity increasing, which is somewhat different from previous conclusions. The difference in the dusk-to-nighttime enhancement between Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere stations is possibly related to the offset of the geomagnetic axis from the geographic axis. hmF2 (peak height of the F2 layer) diurnal variations show that daytime hmF2 begins to increase much earlier at low solar activity level than at high solar activity level at northern Akita and Wakkanai stations where the dusk-to-nighttime enhancement is more prominent at low solar activity level than at high solar activity level. That implies neutral wind phase is possibly also important for nighttime enhancement.