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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 01 Nov 2018

Regular paper | 01 Nov 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Global sounding of F region irregularities by COSMIC during a geomagnetic storm

Klemens Hocke1,2, Huixin Liu3, Nicholas Pedatella4, and Guanyi Ma5 Klemens Hocke et al.
  • 1Institute of Applied Physics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  • 4High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 5National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. We analyze reprocessed electron density profiles and TEC profiles of the ionosphere in September 2008 (around solar minimum) and September 2013 (around solar maximum) obtained by the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC). The TEC profiles describe the total electron content along the ray path from the GPS satellite to the low Earth orbit as function of the tangent point of the ray. Some of the profiles in the magnetic polar regions show small-scale fluctuations with spatial scales < 50 km. Possibly the trajectory of the tangent point intersects spatial electron density irregularities in the magnetic polar region. For derivation of the morphology of the electron density and TEC fluctuations, a 50 km high pass filter is applied in the s-domain where s is the distance between a reference point (bottom tangent point) and the tangent point. For each profile, the mean of the fluctuations is calculated for tangent point altitudes between 400 and 500 km. First at all, the global maps of ΔNe and ΔTEC are quite similar. However, ΔTEC might be more reliable since it is based on less retrieval assumptions. We find a significant difference if the arithmetic mean or the median is applied to the global map of September 2013. The global map of ΔTEC at solar maximum (September 2013) has stronger fluctuations than those at solar minimum (September 2008). Finally, we compare the global maps of the quiet phase and the storm phase of the geomagnetic storm of 15 July 2012. It is evident that the TEC fluctuations are increased and extended over the Southern magnetic polar region at the day of the geomagnetic storm. The North-South asymmetry of the storm response is more pronounced in the upper ionosphere (ray tangent points h = 400–500 km) than in the lower ionosphere (ray tangent points h = 200–300 km).

Klemens Hocke et al.
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Klemens Hocke et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The GPS radio occultation data of the COSMIC-FORMOSAT-3 mission are used to visualize the global distribution of ionospheric irregularities in the F2 region during a geomagnetic storm, at solar minimum, and at solar maximum.
The GPS radio occultation data of the COSMIC-FORMOSAT-3 mission are used to visualize the global...