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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 24 Aug 2018

Regular paper | 24 Aug 2018

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

Variation in total electron content with sunspot number during the ascending and maximum phases of solar cycle 24 at Birnin Kebbi

Aghogho Ogwala1, Emmanuel Olufemi Somoye1, Olugbenga Ogunmodimu3, Rasaq Adewemimo Adeniji-Adele1, Eugene Oghenakpobo Onori1, Oluwole Oyedokun2, and Ernest Iheonu1 Aghogho Ogwala et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 2Department of Physics, University of Lagos, Nigeria
  • 3Department of Electrical Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University , UK

Abstract. Satellite radio signals are affected by the presence of electrons in the earth’s upper atmosphere (ionosphere). The more electrons in the path of the satellite radio signals, the more the impact on the accuracy of satellite navigation systems such as the Global Positioning System (GPS)/ Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and GLONASS. These electrons introduce several meters of error in position calculation. Total Electron Content (TEC) is used to monitor possible space weather impacts on satellite to ground communication and satellite navigation. TEC is modified in the ionosphere by changing solar Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) radiation, geomagnetic storms, and the atmospheric waves that propagate up from the lower atmosphere. Therefore, TEC depends on local time, latitude, longitude, season, geomagnetic conditions, solar cycle activity, and condition of the troposphere. A dual frequency GPS receiver located at an equatorial station, Birnin-Kebbi in Northern Nigeria (geographic location: 12.64°N; 4.22°E), has been used to investigate variation of TEC during the period of 2011 to 2014. We investigate the diurnal, seasonal and solar cycle dependence of GPS-TEC. The result shows that TEC increases from a minimum at 0400 local time (LT) to maximum daytime peak between 1300–1600LT and then decreases to a minimum value after sunset for all the years. Slight post-noon peaks in the daytime maximum and post-sunset decrease and enhancement is observed in some months. We observed that TEC were higher in the equinoxes than the solstices only in 2012. Where as in 2011, September equinox and December solstice recorded higher magnitude followed by March equinox and lowest in June solstice. In 2013, December solstice magnitude was highest, followed by the equinoxes and lowest in June solstice. In 2014, March equinox and December solstice magnitude were higher than September equinox and June solstice magnitude. June solstice consistently recorded the lowest values for all the years.

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Aghogho Ogwala et al.
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Aghogho Ogwala et al.
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Short summary
Studies on TEC variations at Birnin-Kebbiin Northern Nigeria during the ascending and maximum phases of solar cycle 24 have been carried out. The Receiver Independence Exchange (RINEX) GPS data files were downloaded daily from NIGNET website ( and processed using Bernese software and GPS TEC analysis software. GPS TEC obtained from the TEC analysis software is the STEC. VTEC is calculated from the daily values of STEC. Higher TEC during the daytime than nighttime were observed.
Studies on TEC variations at Birnin-Kebbiin Northern Nigeria during the ascending and maximum...