ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

2020 Vol.4(3)

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Recent ionospheric investigations in China (2018–2019)
LiBo Liu, WeiXing Wan
2020, 4(3): 179-205. doi: 10.26464/epp2020028
Since the release of the 2018 National Report of China on ionospheric research ( Liu LB and Wan WX, 2018) to the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), scientists from Mainland China have made many new fruitful investigations of various ionospheric-related issues. In this update report, we briefly introduce more than 130 recent reports (2018–2019). The current report covers the following topics: ionospheric space weather, ionospheric structures and climatology, ionospheric dynamics and couplings, ionospheric irregularity and scintillation, modeling and data assimilation, and radio wave propagation in the ionosphere and sounding techniques.
Impact of surface Albedo on Martian photochemistry
Deepak Singh
2020, 4(3): 206-211. doi: 10.26464/epp2020025
Solar energy is the primary driving force behind a planet’s climate system, and surface albedo plays a key role in determining the energy budget of the planet. Coupling the Snow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiation (SNICAR) with the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) to create a new coupled model leads to an approximately 4% drop in the net CO2 ice deposition on Mars. Newly simulated surface albedo affects the concentration of gaseous species in the Martian atmosphere (condensation-sublimation cycle). The new set-up also impacts the solar energy available in the atmosphere. These two effects together lead to subsequent and significant changes in other chemical species in the Martian atmosphere. Compared with results of the MGCM model alone, in the new coupled model CO2 (gas) and O3 show a drop of about 1.17% and 8.59% in their respective concentrations, while H2O (vapor) and CO show an increase of about 13.63% and 0.56% in their respective concentrations. Among trace species, OH shows a maximum increase of about 29.44%, while the maximum drop of 11.5% is observed in the O concentration. Photochemically neutral species such as Ar and N2 remain unaffected by the albedo changes.
Fine debris flows formed by the Orientale basin
YuZhen Cai, ZhiYong Xiao, ChunYu Ding, Jun Cui
2020, 4(3): 212-222. doi: 10.26464/epp2020027
The prototype for investigations of formation mechanisms and related geological effects of large impact basins on planetary bodies has been the Orientale basin on the Moon. Its widespread secondaries, light plains, and near-rim melt flows have been well mapped in previous studies. Flow features are also widely associated with secondaries on planetary bodies, but their physical properties are not well constrained. The nature of flow features associated with large impact basins are critically important to understand the emplacement process of basin ejecta, which is one of the most fundamental processes in shaping the shallow crusts of planetary bodies. Here we use multisource remote sensing data to constrain the physical properties of flow features formed by the secondaries of the Orientale basin. The results suggest that such flows are dominated by centimeter-scale fine debris fines; larger boulders are not abundant. The shattering of target materials during the excavation of the Orientale basin, landing impact of ejecta that formed the secondaries, and grain comminution within the flows have substantially reduced particle sizes, forming the fine flows. The discovery of global-wide fine debris flows formed by large impact basins has profound implications to the interpretation of both previously-returned samples and remote sensing data.
The effect of cavity density on the formation of electrostatic shock in the lunar wake: 1-D hybrid simulation
Yuan Jin, Ye Pang
2020, 4(3): 223-230. doi: 10.26464/epp2020013
One-dimensional hybrid simulations are carried out to study the plasma refilling process in the lunar wake. Previous theoretical and simulation studies have shown that ion-ion acoustic (ⅡA) instability can be initiated and electrostatic shock can be formed under the condition \begin{document}${{T_{\rm e}}\gg {T_{\rm i}}}$\end{document}. We find that the time evolution of ⅡA instability and the formation of electrostatic shock strongly depend on initial cavity density. The initial position of the electrostatic shock is dependent on the ratio between initial cavity density and background solar wind density, i.e., the farther away the initial position, the lower is the ratio. When the initial cavity density is low enough, the density and electric field profile across the wake become much complex. Meanwhile, the back-to-back electrostatic shock is unstable in the case of lower cavity densities; at the late evolution stage, a new shock-like structure can be formed at the central region of the lunar wake.
Prediction of the thermospheric and ionospheric responses to the 21 June 2020 annular solar eclipse
Tong Dang, JiuHou Lei, WenBin Wang, MaoDong Yan, DeXin Ren, FuQing Huang
2020, 4(3): 231-237. doi: 10.26464/epp2020032
On 21 June 2020, an annular solar eclipse will traverse the low latitudes from Africa to Southeast Asia. The highest latitude of the maximum eclipse obscuration is approximately 30°. This low-latitude solar eclipse provides a unique and unprecedented opportunity to explore the impact of the eclipse on the low-latitude ionosphere–thermosphere (I–T) system, especially in the equatorial ionization anomaly region. In this study, we describe a quantitative prediction of the impact of this upcoming solar eclipse on the I–T system by using Thermosphere–Ionosphere–Electrodynamics General Circulation Model simulations. A prominent total electron content (TEC) enhancement of around 2 TEC units occurs in the equatorial ionization anomaly region even when this region is still in the shadow of the eclipse. This TEC enhancement lasts for nearly 4.5 hours, long after the solar eclipse has ended. Further model control simulations indicate that the TEC increase is mainly caused by the eclipse-induced transequatorial plasma transport associated with northward neutral wind perturbations, which result from eclipse-induced pressure gradient changes. The results illustrate that the effect of the solar eclipse on the I–T system is not transient and linear but should be considered a dynamically and energetically coupled system.
A detailed investigation of low latitude tweek atmospherics observed by the WHU ELF/VLF receiver: 2. Occurrence features and associated ionospheric parameters
Juan Yi, XuDong Gu, Wen Cheng, XinYue Tang, Long Chen, BinBin Ni, RuoXian Zhou, ZhengYu Zhao, Qi Wang, LiQing Zhou
2020, 4(3): 238-245. doi: 10.26464/epp2020023
As a companion paper to Zhou RX et al. (2020), this study describes application of the automatic detection and analysis module to identify all the tweek atmospherics detectible in the WHU ELF/VLF receiver data collected at Suizhou station during the period of 3 February through 29 February 2016. Detailed analysis of the identified low-latitude tweek events reveals that the occurrence rate varies considerably — from 800 to 6000 tweeks per day, and exhibits a strong diurnal and local time dependence, the peak occurring before local midnight. The diurnal variation of identified tweeks was similar to that of the lightning data obtained by the World-Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN).. Estimates of the propagation distance and ionospheric reflection height of tweek atmospherics suggest that the majority (~92%) of the low latitude tweeks originate from the lightning activity within a radius of 4000 km and that they are very likely to reflect from the lower ionospheric D-region at the height range of 75–85 km. At these lower ionospheric reflection altitudes, ~74% of the corresponding electron densities from the tweek spectral measurements are within 24.5–27.5 cm-3. The daily variation of estimated D-region electron densities in the considered period (February 2016) also exhibits a small overall increasing trend from early to later in the month.
An empirical model of the global distribution of plasmaspheric hiss based on Van Allen Probes EMFISIS measurements
JingZhi Wang, Qi Zhu, XuDong Gu, Song Fu, JianGuang Guo, XiaoXin Zhang, Juan Yi, YingJie Guo, BinBin Ni, Zheng Xiang
2020, 4(3): 246-265. doi: 10.26464/epp2020034
Using wave measurements from the EMFISIS instrument onboard Van Allen Probes, we investigate statistically the spatial distributions of the intensity of plasmaspheric hiss waves. To reproduce these empirical results, we establish a fitting model that is a third-order polynomial function of L-shell, magnetic local time (MLT), magnetic latitude (MLAT), and AE*. Quantitative comparisons indicate that the model’s fitting functions can reflect favorably the major empirical features of the global distribution of hiss wave intensity, including substorm dependence and the MLT asymmetry. Our results therefore provide a useful analytic model that can be readily employed in future simulations of global radiation belt electron dynamics under the impact of plasmaspheric hiss waves in geospace.
A normalized statistical study of Earth’s cusp region based on nine-years of Cluster measurements
Chao Xiao, WenLong Liu, DianJun Zhang, Zhao Zhang
2020, 4(3): 266-273. doi: 10.26464/epp2020031
Nine years (2001–2009) of data from the Cluster spacecraft are analyzed in this study of the Earth’s mid- and high-altitude (2–9RE) cusp. Properties of the cusp region, and its location and size in the Solar Magnetic coordinate system, are studied statistically. The survey shows that (1) the relationships between X and Z are nearly linear for the poleward, equatorward boundaries and the center of the cusp; (2) the relationship between cusp width in the X direction and Z can be expressed by a quadratic function; (3) the cusp region is almost dawn-dusk symmetric for the cusp width in the X direction. Based on topology information, a new normalized statistical methodology is developed to organize the measurements of cusp crossings to obtain distributions of magnetic field and plasma parameters in the XZ plane. The statistical results show that (1) Bx is mostly negative and Bz is always negative; (2) proton velocity is found to be positive for Vx and Vz at low altitudes, while Vx and Vz are negative on the equator side and negative Vx and positive Vz on the pole side at high altitudes; (3) proton density is higher on the equator side than on the pole side. Results reported here will be useful in suggesting directions for future cusp research.
Characteristics of the quasi-16-day wave in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere region as revealed by meteor radar, Aura satellite, and MERRA2 reanalysis data from 2008 to 2017
Yun Gong, Zheng Ma, Chun Li, XieDong Lv, ShaoDong Zhang, QiHou Zhou, ChunMing Huang, KaiMing Huang, You Yu, GuoZhu Li
2020, 4(3): 274-284. doi: 10.26464/epp2020033
This study presents an analysis of the quasi-16-day wave (Q16DW) at three stations in the middle latitudes by using a meteor radar chain in conjunction with Aura Microwave Limb Sounder temperature data and MERRA2 (Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2) reanalysis data from 2008 to 2017. The radar chain consists of three meteor radar stations located at Mohe (MH, 53.5°N, 122.3°E), Beijing (BJ, 40.3°N, 116.2°E), and Wuhan (WH, 30.5°N, 114.6°E). The Q16DW wave exhibits similar seasonal variation in the neutral wind and temperature, and the Q16DW amplitude is generally strong during winter and weak around summer. The Q16DW at BJ was found to have secondary enhancement around September in the zonal wind, which is rarely reported at similar latitudes. The latitudinal variations of the Q16DW in the neutral wind and temperature are quite different. The Q16DW at BJ is the most prominent in both neutral wind components among the three stations and the Q16DW amplitudes at MH and WH are comparable, whereas the wave amplitude in temperature decreases with decreasing latitude. The quasi-geostrophic refractive index squared at the three stations in the period from 2008 to 2017 was revealed. The results indicate that the Q16DW in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) at MH has a limited contribution from the lower atmosphere. Around March and October, the Q16DW in the troposphere at BJ can propagate upward into the MLT region, whereas at WH, the contribution to the Q16DW in the MLT region is largely from the mesosphere.
Quasi-6-day waves in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere region and their possible coupling with the QBO and solar 27-day rotation
JianYuan Wang, Wen Yi, TingDi Chen, XiangHui Xue
2020, 4(3): 285-295. doi: 10.26464/epp2020024
By using atmospheric wind data in the mesopause and lower thermosphere (MLT) region, features of seasonal variations in the quasi-6-day wave (6DW) at different latitudes are analyzed, and modulation of the 6DW by the diurnal tide and solar 27-day period is discussed. The data used in the analysis are extracted from a wind dataset collected by a meteor radar chain from December 2008 to November 2017. The meteor radar chain includes four stations, in Mohe, Beijing, Wuhan, and Sanya. Features of seasonal variations in the 6DW indicate that in summer the 6DW is usually strongest during July and August, followed by stronger variations in January and April. At certain altitudes over Wuhan and Sanya, the 6DW is slightly different in different years and altitudes. In our analysis of seasonal variations in the 6DW, we find that it is generally affected by annual oscillations and semiannual oscillations. The annual oscillations of the 6DW in the mid-low latitudes are modulated by the quasibiennial oscillation in the diurnal tide, resulting in seasonal features that are different from those at other latitudes. In addition, the 6DW amplitude at mid-high latitudes has a significant 27-day solar rotation variation, which was prominent in 2016.
Modeling co-seismic thermal infrared brightness anomalies in petroliferous basins surrounding the North and East of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau
Xin Zhang, LiFeng Zhang
2020, 4(3): 296-307. doi: 10.26464/epp2020029
Co-seismic gas leakage usually occurs on the edge of seismic faults in petroliferous basins, and it may have an impact on the local environment, such as the greenhouse effect, which can cause thermal infrared brightness anomalies. Using wavelet transform and power spectrum estimation methods, we processed brightness temperature data from the Chinese geostationary meteorological satellite FY-C/E. We report similarities between the co-seismic thermal infrared brightness (CTIB) anomalies before, during and after earthquakes that occurred at the edges of the Sichuan, Tarim, Qaidam, and Junggar basins surrounding the North and East of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau in western China. Additionally, in each petroliferous basin, the area of a single CTIB anomaly accounted for 50% to 100% of the basin area, and the spatial distribution similarities in the CTIB anomalies existed before, during and after these earthquakes. To better interpret the similarities, we developed a basin warming effect model based on geological structures and topography. The model suggests that in a petroliferous basin with a subsurface gas reservoir, gas leakage could strengthen with the increasing stress before, during, and even after an earthquake. The accumulation of these gases, such as the greenhouse gases CH4 and CO2, results in the CTIB anomalies. In addition, we conclude that the CTIB anomalies are strengthened by the high mountains (altitude ~5000 m) around the basins and the basins’ independent climatic conditions. This work provides a new perspective from which to understand the CTIB anomalies in petroliferous basins surrounding the North and East of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau.
Paleoclimatic and provenance implications of magnetic parameters from the Miocene sediments in the Subei Basin
YouSheng Li, JiMin Sun, ZhiLiang Zhang, Bai Su, ShengChen Tian, MengMeng Cao
2020, 4(3): 308-316. doi: 10.26464/epp2020030
Thick sediments from foreland basins usually provide valuable information for understanding the relationships between mountain building, rock denudation, and sediment deposition. In this paper, we report environmental magnetic measurements performed on the Miocene sediments in the Subei Basin, northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Our results show two different patterns. First, the bulk susceptibility and SIRM, ARM, and HIRM mainly reflect the absolute-concentration of magnetic minerals; all have increased remarkably since 13.7 Ma, related to provenance change rather than climate change. Second, the ratios of IRM100mT/SIRM, IRM100mT/IRM30mT, and IRM100mT/IRM60mT, together with the redness and S ratio, reflect the relative-concentration of hematite, being climate-dependent. Their vertical changes correlate in general with the long-term Miocene climatic records of marine oxygen isotope variations, marked by the existence of higher ratios between 17 and 14 Ma. This may imply that global climate change, rather than uplift of the Tibetan Plateau, played a dominant role in the long-term climatic evolution of the Subei area from the early to middle Miocene.
3-D shear wave velocity structure in the shallow crust of the Tan-Lu fault zone in Lujiang, Anhui, and adjacent areas, and its tectonic implications
Cheng Li, HuaJian Yao, Yuan Yang, Song Luo, KangDong Wang, KeSong Wan, Jian Wen, Bin Liu
2020, 4(3): 317-328. doi: 10.26464/epp2020026
The Tan-Lu fault zone is a large NNE-trending fault zone in eastern China. Investigations of the structures of the fault zone and its surrounding areas have attracted much attention. In this study, we used dense-array ambient noise tomography to construct a three-dimensional shear wave velocity model of shallow crust in an area about 80km × 70km in Lujiang, Anhui Province, eastern China. For approximately one month we collected continuous ambient noise signals recorded by 90 short-period seismographs in the region, and obtained the short-period Rayleigh wave empirical Green's functions between stations by the cross-correlation method; we also extracted 0.5–8 s fundamental mode Rayleigh wave group velocity and phase velocity dispersion curves. Based on the direct surface wave tomography method, we jointly inverted the group velocity and phase velocity dispersion data of all paths and obtained the 3-D shear wave velocity structure in the depth range of 0–5 km. The results revealed important geological structural features of the study area. In the north region, the sedimentary center of the Hefei Basin — the southwestern part of the Chaohu Lake — shows a significant low-velocity anomaly to a depth of at least 5 km. The southwestern and southeastern regions of the array are the eastern margin of the Dabie orogenic belt and the intrusion area of Luzong volcanic rocks, respectively, and both show obvious high-speed anomalies; the sedimentary area within the Tan-Lu fault zone (about 10 km wide) shows low-velocity anomalies. However, the volcanic rock intrusion area in the fault zone is shown as high velocity. Our shallow crustal imaging results reflect the characteristics of different structures in the study area, especially the high-speed intrusive rocks in the Tan-Lu fault zone, which were probably partially derived from the magmatic activity of Luzong volcanic basin. From the Late Cretaceous to Early Tertiary, the Tan-Lu fault zone was in a period of extensional activity; the special stress environment and the fractured fault zone morphology provided conditions for magma in the Luzong volcanic basin to intrude into the Tan-Lu fault zone in the west. Our 3-D model can also provide important information for deep resource exploration and earthquake strong ground motion simulation.