A study of the variability of the amplitude of Sq at a fixed hour from one day to the next at nine stations from the dip equator to about 22° north of it has produced interesting results. The amplitude and sign of the variability change virtually randomly, making the mean practically zero. The variability occurs at all hours of the day. Its magnitudes in the components D, H and Z have the same diurnal variation, which peaks in the noon period like Sq(H) in low latitudes, and a weak seasonal variation that peaks at the June solstice (local summer). It is demonstrated that changes in the current intensities of the equatorial electrojet (EEJ) and the worldwide part of the Sq (W Sq) current layers have contrasting phases and can sometimes be in antiphase. Indeed, the changes are mostly independent. Inclusion of the magnetic element D revealed that the EEJ current system has not only an east–west but also a north–south component. The study shows that the meridional component of the EEJ current intensity evidenced at the Kodaikanal and Annamalainagar stations is an integral part of the zonal component at Trivandrum. This confirms the results of Rastogi (1996) and validates those of Onwumechili (1997). The results suggest that ionospheric conductivity mainly controls the magnitude, while the electric field and ultimately winds mainly control the phase and randomness of the day-to-day variability of the hourly amplitudes of Sq. The random component is attributed to local and/or regional atmospheric winds, probably of gravity wave origin.
Geophysical Journal International 07/1998; 134(2):484 – 500. DOI:10.1046/j.1365-246x.1998.00564.x