Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1079
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1079

  29 Dec 2020

29 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Sporadic sodium layer: A possible tracer for the conjunction between the upper and lower atmospheres

Shican Qiu1,2,3, Ning Wang1,4,5, Willie Soon6, Gaopeng Lu2, Mingjiao Jia2,3, and Xiankang Dou2,3 Shican Qiu et al.
  • 1Department of Geophysics, College of the Geology Engineering and Geomatics, Chang’an University, Xi’an, 710054, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Science & Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, China
  • 3Mengcheng National Geophysical Observatory, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, China
  • 4Gravity & Magnetic Institute of Chang’an University, Xi’an, 710054, China
  • 5Key Laboratory of Western China’s Mineral Resources and Geological Engineering, China Ministry of Education, Xi’an, 710054, China
  • 6Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES), Salem, Massachusetts, 01970, USA

Abstract. In this research, we reveal the inter-connection between lightning strokes, reversal of the electric field, ionospheric disturbances, and a trigger of sporadic sodium layer event (NaS), based on the joint observations by three lidars, an ionosonde, an atmospheric electric mill, a fluxgate magnetometer, and World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN). Our results suggest that lightning strokes would probably have an influence on the ionosphere and thus give rise to the occurrence of NaS, with the overturning of electric field playing an important role. Statistical results reveal that the sporadic E layers (ES) could hardly be formed or maintained when the atmospheric electric field turns upward. A conjunction between the lower and upper atmospheres could be established by these inter-connected phenomena, and the key processes could be suggested as follows: lightning strokes→overturning of electric field→different collisional frequencies for ions and electrons→depletion of ES/generation of NaS.

Shican Qiu et al.

 
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Shican Qiu et al.

Shican Qiu et al.

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Short summary
Our results suggest that lightning strokes would probably have an influence on the ionosphere and thus give rise to the occurrence of sporadic sodium layer (NaS), with the overturning of electric field playing an important role. Statistical results reveal that the sporadic E layers (ES) could hardly be formed or maintained when the atmospheric electric field turns upward. A conjunction between the lower and upper atmospheres could be established by these inter-connected phenomena.
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