This investigation presents an initial attempt to analyze a full year of daily ionosonde observations relevant to the determination of plasma densities, tidal structures, and ion transports in the equatorial anomaly region of the lower ionosphere. Particular focus is on the intermediate layers, their seasonal and diurnal variations, and cause-effect relationships. The ionogram database was recorded using a digisonde portable sounder (DPS) at National Central University (NCU, 24°58′ N, 121° 11′ E) during 1996. Statistical results indicate that the intermediate layers appear primarily during the daytime of the spring/winter months. The monthly median height characteristics reveal that the layers descend from high to low altitudes and different tidal motions control the layers in different months. Generally, the semi-diurnal and quarter-diurnal tides, which cause ionization convergence, are mainly in the spring/winter and summer/ autumn months, respectively. Variations in the electron densities of the layers also indicate that the density increases could result from a great number of molecular and metallic ions. Furthermore, a novel approach to ionogram presentation is introduced to investigate the intermediate layers. This approach allows the DPS to characterize the detailed daily information of the intermediate layers.
- Ionosphere (equatorial ionosphere; ionosphere-atmosphere interactions; ionospheric irregularities)