Abstract. A prominent peak in the electron temperature of the topside ionosphere is observed beneath the magnetospheric cleft. The present study uses DE-2 data obtained in the Northern Winter Hemisphere to investigate this phenomenon. First, the dependence of the location and magnitude of the temperature peak on the magnetic activity is determined. Next, using a superposed epoch analysis, the mean latitudinal profile of the temperature enhancement is derived. The results of the present study are compared primarily with those obtained by Titheridge (1976), but also with more recent observations and theoretical predictions
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