Inter-Hemispheric Comparison of Ionospheric TEC Variation at Each Latitudinal Band During Quiet Geomagnetic Condition
Keywords:TEC, Solar activity, Winter anomaly, Equinoctial asymmetry
This paper compares the quiet time variation of the Total Electron Content (TEC) over four stations located at high and mid latitudes in the northern and southern hemispheres of the African-European longitudes. Five years Global Positioning System (GPS) data, from 2002 to 2006, representing the periods of high to low solar activities were used for the study. Generally, the maximum diurnal values of TEC are observed between 10:00 – 14:00 LT in all the stations during the periods investigated. The minimum values of TEC are observed during the pre-sunrise hours for the two mid latitude stations and around the pre-midnight/post-midnight for the high latitude stations. The maximum values of TEC, however vary with season, latitude and solar activity in all the stations. The values decrease with increase in latitudes and decrease in solar activity. The values range between 10 – 32 and 11 – 50 TECU respectively, for high and mid latitudes for all the years considered. Seasonally, the highest values of TEC are generally observed during the equinoxes in all the stations except at the southern mid latitude station where it can as well be observed in summer, particularly during the Moderate Solar Activity (MSA) and Low Solar Activity (LSA) periods. The lowest values of TEC are observed in winter in all the stations in the southern hemisphere and can be observed in both winter and summer for stations in the northern hemisphere depending on the latitude and solar activity period. TEC variation also exhibits (1) asymmetry in the equinoctial values in all the stations and the magnitude is most pronounced during the period of High Solar Activity (HSA); (2) winter ionosphere anomaly feature, observed only in the northern hemisphere stations; and (3) daytime minimum and nighttime maximum in the diurnal structures of TEC at high latitude in the northern hemisphere during the winter. The nighttime maximum value was observed around 21:00 LT with magnitude that decreases with decrease in solar activity. The annual maximum value of TEC decreases with solar activity at all the stations, with the highest/lowest peak observed in HSA/LSA periods.
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