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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-131
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-131
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 07 Dec 2018

Regular paper | 07 Dec 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Spatial gradient of total electron content (TEC) between two nearby stations as indicator of occurrence of ionospheric irregularity

Teshome Dugassa1,2, John Bosco Habarulema3,4, and Melessew Nigussie5 Teshome Dugassa et al.
  • 1Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • 2Bule Hora University, College of Natural and Computational Science, Department of Physics, Bule Hora, Ethiopia
  • 3South African National Space Agency (SANSA), Space Science, 7200, Hermanus, South Africa
  • 4Department of Physics and Electronics, Rhodes University, 6140, Grahamstown, South Africa
  • 5Washera Geospace and Radar Science Laboratory, Physics Department, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Abstract. The relation between the occurrence of ionospheric irregularity and spatial gradient of total electron content (TEC) during the post-sunset hours over the equatorial region is studied. The ionospheric irregularities could pose serious challenges to satellite-based navigation and positioning applications when trans-ionospheric signals pass through them. Different instruments and techniques have been applied to study the behavior of these ionospheric irregularities. In this study, the Global positioning system (GPS) based derived total electron content (TEC) was used to investigate the spatial gradient of TEC between two nearby stations as an indicator of the occurrence of ionospheric irregularity over the East African sector. The gradient of TEC between the two stations (ASAB: 4:34°N, 114:39°E and DEBK: 3:71°N, 109:34°E, geomagnetic) located within the equatorial region of Africa were considered in this study during the year 2014. The rate of change of TEC based derived index (ROTIave) is also used to observe the correlation between the spatial gradient of TEC and the occurrence of ionospheric irregularities. The result obtained shows that most of the maximum positive/depletions in the spatial gradient of TEC observed in March and September equinoxes are more pronounced between 19:00LT–24:00LT as the large-scale ionospheric irregularities do. Moreover, the observed spatial gradient of TEC shows two peaks (in March and September) and they exhibit equinoctial asymmetry where the March equinox is greater than September equinox. The enhancement in the spatial gradient of TEC and ROTIave during the 15 evening time period also show similar trends but lag 1–2hrs from the equatorial electric field (EEF). The spatial gradient of TEC between the two nearby stations could be used as an indicator of the occurrence of ionospheric irregularities.

Teshome Dugassa et al.
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