Why Does the October Effect Not Occur at Night?

The October effect is known as a rapid and strong decrease in the signal amplitude of radio waves with very low frequency (VLF), reflected at the lowest edge of the ionosphere. This strong decrease can be observed only during the daytime. Although the October effect is long known, it is hardly investigated and its mechanism is still unknown. To get closer to a mechanism, we answer why the October effect does not occur during nighttime. Therefore, average characteristics of the October effect are obtained from different VLF transmitter-receiver combinations. The occurrence of the October effect is then compared with characteristics of the neutral atmosphere temperature at VLF reflection heights as it seems to act as a proxy for the unknown mechanism. The temperature shows an asymmetric seasonal behavior at daytime VLF reflection heights poleward of 50°N but not during the nighttime, resulting in the October effect.


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Authors: Wendt, V., Schneider, H., Banyś, D., Hansen, M., Clilverd, M.A. ORCIDORCID record for M.A. Clilverd, Raita, T.

On this site: Mark Clilverd
16 April, 2024
Geophysical Research Letters / 51
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