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EN
Proper characterization of total electron content (TEC) and scintillation is very important to global positioning system (GPS) users in communication, navigation, ionospheric or atmospheric studies. Quiet time variation of TEC is useful in the estimation and removal of ionospheric delay for global navigation satellite systems single-frequency positioning. During geomagnetic storms, the variations of ionosphere deviate from their quiet day pattern and can cause significant effects on short-term prediction of various ionospheric parameters. The dynamics of the ionosphere change from region to region; therefore, in order to evaluate and improve the performance of global models of the ionosphere, numerous studies of variations using measured ionospheric parameters from stations globally are useful. This paper presents for the first time variations in the TEC and scintillation at Maseno University (geomagnetic coordinates, 9.64°S, 108.59°E), Kenya, investigated using a NovAtelGSV400B GPS receiver for the high solar activity year 2014. The GPS-measured TEC values were compared with the modeled TEC values by the latest International Reference Ionosphere model (IRI-2016), with a view to evaluate the performance of this version of the model. The largest TEC values were observed from 1300 to 1500 h local time throughout the year with the largest diurnal values occurring in March equinox and smallest during June solstice. The largest TEC values are attributed to extreme ultraviolet radiation coupled with upward →E ×→B plasma drift velocity. Nighttime enhancements in TEC attributed to the ‘fountain’ effect occurred during some months. Scintillation correlated with depletions in TEC occurred in the period between 1600 h local time to 1900 h local time (post-sunset) sector during some months, with the strongest value of − 0.91 being experienced in March equinox. Scintillation was absent during geomagnetic storms studied mainly as a result of the time of onset of the recovery phases of the storms. In addition, the geomagnetic storms were manifested in GPS-measured TEC as negative ionospheric storms. The IRI-2016 model gave a good prediction of measured values except for its overestimation of measured TEC in the months of May and June. Further, a new insight shown by the results is the ability of the IRI-2016 model to predict post-sunset TEC enhancements during some months contrary to previous versions reported by other researchers in East Africa. However, model is not quickly sensitive to transitions from one season to another. This result contributes to the improvement of the current IRI model by recommending the introduction of an input into the model that is sensitive to transitions in seasons in future versions of the model.
EN
In this study, pre-seismic and post-seismic total electron content (TEC) anomalies of 63 Mw ≥ 5.0 earthquakes in Turkey (36°–42°N, 26°–45°E) were statistically investigated. The largest earthquake that occurred in Turkey during 2003–2016 is the Mw 7.1 Van earthquake on October 23, 2011. The TEC data of epicenters is obtained from CODE-GIM using a simple 4-point bivariate interpolation. The anomalies of TEC variations were determined by using a quartile-based running median process. In order to validate GIM results, we used the GPS-TEC data of available four IGS stations within the size of the Van earthquake preparation area. The anomalies that are detected by GIM and GPS-TEC show a similar pattern. Accordingly, the results obtained with CODE-GIM are reliable. The statistical results show that there are not prominent earthquake precursors for Mw ≤ 6.0 earthquakes in Turkey.
EN
An ionospheric model and corresponding coefficients broadcasted via GNSS navigation message are generally used to estimate the time delay for single-frequency GNSS users. In this article, the capabilities of three ionospheric models, namely, Klobuchar model, NeQuick Galileo version (NeQuick G), and Neustrelitz TEC broadcast model (NTCM-BC), were assessed. The models were examined in two aspects: total electron content (TEC) prediction and ionospheric delay correction effects in single-point positioning. Results show that both NeQuick G and NTCM-BC models outperformed Klobuchar model for predicting global TEC values during all the test days. Compared with Slant TEC (STEC) along the receiver-to-satellite ray path derived from IGS global ionosphere map (GIMs), STEC from NeQuick G and NTCM-BC models tend to have less bias than those from Klobuchar model in most situations. The point positioning results were improved by applying ionospheric broadcast models especially at the mid- and low-latitude stations.
EN
We studied variation characteristics of ionospheric total electron contents (TEC) and performance of the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI)-2012 model in predicting TEC at the BJFS (Beijing Fangshan station), China. Diurnal and seasonal variations were analyzed with TEC data derived from dual-frequency global positioning system (GPS) observations along with the solar activity dependence of TEC at the BJFS station. Data interpolated with information from IGS Global Ionosphere Maps (GIMs) were also used in the analysis. Results showed that the IRI-2012 model can reflect the climatic characteristics and solar activity dependence of ionospheric TEC. By using time series decomposition method, ionospheric daily averaged TEC values were divided into the periodic components, geomagnetic activity component, solar activity component and secular trend. Solar activity component and periodic components are supposed to be the main reasons which account for the difference between the GIMs TEC and the TEC from the IRI-2012 model.
EN
Due to several complexities associated with the equatorial ionosphere, and the significant role which the total electron content (TEC) variability plays in GPS signal transmission, there is the need to monitor irregularities in TEC during storm events. The GPS SCINDA receiver data at Ile-Ife, Nigeria, was analysed with a view to characterizing the ionospheric response to geomagnetic storms on 9 March and 1 October 2012. Presently, positive storm effects, peaks in TEC which were associated with prompt penetration of electric fields and changes in neutral gas composition were observed for the storms. The maximum percentage deviation in TEC of about 120 and 45% were observed for 9 March and 1 October 2012, respectively. An obvious negative percentage TEC deviation subsequent to sudden storm commencement (SSC) was observed and besides a geomagnetic storm does not necessarily suggest a high scintillation intensity (S4) index. The present results show that magnetic storm events at low latitude regions may have an adverse effect on navigation and communication systems.
EN
The present study reports the analysis of GPS TEC prior to 3 earthquakes (M > 6.0). The earthquakes are: (1) Loyalty Island (22°36′S, 170°54′E) on 19 January 2009 (M = 6.6), (2) Samoa Island (15°29′S, 172°5′W) on 30 August 2009 (M = 6.6), and (3) Tohoku (38°19′N, 142°22′E) on 11 March 2011 (M = 9.0). In an effort to search for a precursory signature we analysed the land and ocean parameters prior to the earthquakes, namely SLHF (Land) and SST (Ocean). The GPS TEC data indicate an anomalous behaviour from 1-13 days prior to earthquakes. The main purpose of this study was to explore and demonstrate the possibility of any changes in TEC, SST, and SLHF before, during and after the earthquakes which occurred near or beneath an ocean. This study may lead to better understanding of response of land, ocean, and ionosphere parameters prior to seismic activities.
EN
Ionospheric time delay (VΔt) variability using Global Positioning System (GPS) data over Akure (7.15°N, 5.12°E), Nigeria, has been studied. The observed variability of VΔt in comparison to older results of vertical total electron content (TEC) across similar regions has shown equivalent signatures. Higher monthly mean values of VΔt (MVΔt) were observed during daytime as compared to nighttime (pre- and post- midnight) hours in all months. The highest MVΔt observed in September during daytime hours range between ~6 and ~21 ns (~1.80 and ~6.30 m) and at post-midnight, they are in the range of ~1 to ~6 ns (~0.3 to ~1.80 m). The possible mechanisms responsible for this variability were discussed. Seasonal VΔt were investigated as well.
EN
Dual-frequency global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) observations provide most of the input data for development of global ionosphere map (GIM) of vertical total electron content (VTEC). The international GNSS service (IGS) develops different ionosphere products. The IGS tracking network stations are not homogeneously distributed around the world. The large gaps of this network in Middle East, e.g., Iran plateau, reduce the accuracy of the IGS GIMs over this region. Empirical ionosphere models, such as international reference ionosphere (IRI), also provide coarse forecasts of the VTEC values. This paper presents a new regional VTEC model based on the IRI 2007 and global positioning system (GPS) observations from Iranian Permanent GPS Network. The model consists of a given reference part from IRI model and an unknown correction term. Compactly supported base functions are more appropriate than spherical harmonics in regional ionosphere modeling. Therefore, an unknown correction term was expanded in terms of B-spline functions. The obtained results are validated through comparison with the observed VTEC derived from GPS observations.
EN
Most destructive earthquakes nucleate at between 5-7 km and about 35-40 km depth. Before earthquakes, rocks are subjected to increasing stress. Not every stress increase leads to rupture. To understand preearthquake phenomena we note that igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks contain defects which, upon stressing, release defect electrons in the oxygen anion sublattice, known as positive holes. These charge carriers are highly mobile, able to flow out of stressed rocks into surrounding unstressed rocks. They form electric currents, which emit electromagnetic radiation, sometimes in pulses, sometimes sustained. The arrival of positive holes at the ground-air interface can lead to air ionization, often exclusively positive. Ionized air rising upward can lead to cloud condensation. The upward flow of positive ions can lead to instabilities in the mesosphere, to mesospheric lightning, to changes in the Total Electron Content (TEC) at the lower edge of the ionosphere, and electric field turbulences. Advances in deciphering the earthquake process can only be achieved in a broadly multidisciplinary spirit.
EN
We present a case study of ionospheric wave activity during solar terminator crossing using GPS TEC measurements. As a basic tool, the spatial gradient of total electron content (TEC) has been used. We tested with positive result the hypothesis on anisotropic response to assumed one-dimensional solar terminator forcing. The approximate drift velocity of irregularities has been computed. The wavelet analysis gave an interesting insight into variable frequency content of TEC gradient time series. We also proposed a filtering with respect to spatial scale allowing for resolving the spatio-temporal ambiguity.
EN
Global Positioning System (GPS) derived total electron content (TEC) measurements were analyzed to investigate the ionospheric response during the X-class solar flare event that occurred on 5-6 December 2006 at geomagnetic conjugate stations: Syowa, Antarctica (SYOG) (GC: 69.00° S, 39.58° E; CGM: 66.08° S, 71.65° E) and Árholt, Iceland (ARHO) (GC: 66.19° N, 342.89° E; CGM: 66.37° N, 71.48° E). Bernese GPS software was used to derive the TEC maps for both stations. The focus of this study is to determine the symmetry or asymmetry of TEC values which is an important parameter in the ionosphere at conjugate stations during these solar flare events. The results showed that during the first flares on 5 December, effects were more pronounced at SYOG than at ARHO. However, on 6 December, the TEC at ARHO showed a sudden spike during the flare with a different TEC variation at SYOG.
EN
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the performance of the TSMP-assisted Digisonde (TaD) topside profiling technique. We present systematic comparisons between electron density profiles and TEC parameters extracted from TaD model with (a) CHAMP-derived TEC parameters, (b) CHAMP reconstructed profiles, (c) ground based GPSderived TEC parameters, and (d) profiles reconstructed from RPI/ IMAGE plasmagrams. In all cases, TaD follows the general trend of plasmaspheric observations derived from the above datasets. Especially during storm cases, TaD shows remarkable agreement with the variations of the ground based GPS-derived TEC parameters. Overall, the comparison results shows that TaD method can be adopted by EURIPOS to provide the electron density distribution up to plasmaspheric heights in real-time.
EN
GPS data from the International GNSS Service (IGS) network were used to study the development of the severe geomagnetic storm of November 7-12, 2004, in the total electron content (TEC) on a global scale. The TEC maps were produced for analyzing the storm. For producing the maps over European and North American sectors, GPS measurements from more than 100 stations were used. The dense network of GPS stations provided TEC measurements with a high temporal and spatial resolution. To present the temporal and spatial variation of TEC during the storm, differential TEC maps relative to a quiet day (November 6, 2004) were created. The features of geomagnetic storm attributed to the complex development of ionospheric storm depend on latitude, longitude and local time. The positive, as well as negative effects were detected in TEC variations as a consequence of the evolution of the geomagnetic storm. The maximal effect was registered in the subauroral/auroral ionosphere during substorm activity in the evening and night period. The latitudinal profiles obtained from TEC maps for Europe gave rise to the storm-time dynamic of the ionospheric trough, which was detected on November 7 and 9 at latitudes below 50N. In the report, features of the response of TEC to the storm for European and North American sectors are analyzed.
EN
Variations of the upper boundary of the ionosphere (UBI) are investigated based on three sources of information: (i) ionosonde-derived parameters: critical frequency foF2, propagation factor M3000F2, and sub-peak thickness of the bot-tomside electron density profile; (ii) total electron content (TEC) observations from signals of the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites; (iii) model electron densities of the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI*) extended towards the plasmasphere. The ionospheric slab thickness is calculated as ratio of TEC to the F2 layer peak electron density, NmF2, representing a measure of thickness of electron density profile in the bottomside and topside ionosphere eliminating the plasmaspheric slab thickness of GPS-TEC with the IRI* code. The ratio of slab thickness to the real thickness in the topside ionosphere is deduced making use of a similar ratio in the bottomside ionosphere with a weight Rw. Model weight Rw is represented as a superposition of the base-functions of local time, geomagnetic latitude, solar and magnetic activity. The time-space variations of domain of convergence of the ionosphere and plasmasphere differ from an average value of UBI at ~1000 km over the earth. Analysis for quiet monthly average conditions and during the storms (Sep-tember 2002, October–November 2003, November 2004) has shown shrinking UBI altitude at daytime to 400 km. The upper ionosphere height is increased by night with an ‘ionospheric tail’ which expands from 1000 km to more than 2000 km over the earth under quiet and disturbed space weather. These effects are interposed on a trend of increasing UBI height with solar activity when both the critical frequency foF2 and the peak height hmF2 are growing during the solar cycle.
EN
GPS observations carried out at Antarctic stations belonging to the IGS network were used to study TEC fluctuations in the high-latitude ionosphere during storms. Dual-frequency GPS phase measurements along individual satellite passes served as raw data. Ionospheric irregularities of a different scale develop in the auroral and polar ionosphere. This is a common phenomenon which causes phase fluctuations of GPS signals. We distinguished TEC variations related to ionospheric structures of a spatial scale bigger than 200-300 km. In the diagram of temporal variations of TEC along satellite passes, the structure of TEC corresponds to a time scale longer than 15-30 min. We attribute the variations in a time scale smaller than 15-30 min to TEC fluctuations related to small-scale ionospheric irregularities. We used the rate of TEC index (ROTI) expressed in TECU/min as a measure of TEC fluctuations. Large-scale ionospheric structures cause an increase in horizontal gradients and difficulties with the carrier phase ambiguity in relative GPS positioning. In turn, the phase fluctuations can cause cycle slips. At polar stations MCM4, CAS1, DAV1 we detected ionospheric structures of TEC enhanced 3-5 times relative to the background, whereas TEC increased to 10-30 TECU in about 10-15 min. The structures were observed during a storm, as well as during moderate geomagnetic activity. The structures can be probably attributed to polar cap patches. During storms the intensity of phase fluctuations increased. The occurrence of phase fluctuations was even detected during the active storm period of 31 March 2001 at a middle-latitude station OHIG (located at 49° corrected geomagnetic lati-tude).
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