Since the publication of results suggesting the existence of a 6-h tide in the E region above Arecibo [(Tong et al., 1988) J. geophys. Res. 93, 10047-10051], much more data has been collected and analyzed. In particular, the time-height trajectories of middle and upper E region Tidal Ion Layers (TILs) for early January 1989 closely resemble those from early January 1981, which first revealed the presence of a 6-h quasi-periodic intermediate layer structure. Further, the January 1989 observations form an 'overture' to the March-May 1989 AIDA (Arecibo Initiative in Dynamics of the Atmosphere) campaign, which yielded a total of 28 days of additional data regarding TIL motion. Interestingly, the AIDA data set is dominated, above about 120 km altitude, by sporadic intermediate layers [(mathews et al., 1993) J. atmos. terr. Phys. 55, 447-457] and certainly does not show the consistent 6-h period TIL feature seen in the two January data sets. In reviewing all data collected over the past 10 yr and the extensive 1989 observations in particular, we conclude that the basic TIL structure is controlled by two separate tidal wind patterns. We refer to these as the normal pattern and the 'deep-winter' pattern. The normal pattern includes the combination of diurnal and semidiurnal tides, while the deep-winter pattern has an additional 6-h tidal component. The deep winter pattern remains unexplained, but we suggest that the 6-h periodicity, which appears to be phase locked with the semidiurnal tide, is generated via in situ non-linear frequency doubling of the semidiurnal tide. The January 1989 results also manifest a TIL structure, below 100 km altitude, which has not been previously reported.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Atmospheric Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)