Ionosphere equatorial ionization anomaly observed by GPS radio occultations during 2006\textendash2014


A large number of Global Position System (GPS) radio occultation (RO) observations have been accumulated in the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Constellation Observation System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC) Data Analysis and Archive Center (CDAAC) especially since the launch of COSMIC mission. This study made use of these RO data to study the morphology of ionosphere equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) statistically during 2006\textendash2014. The ionospheric peak density (NmF2) and peak height (hmF2) derived from the RO electron density profiles as well as the derived magnetic latitude of both crests and trough, the trough width, and the crest-to-trough ratio (CTR) of NmF2 are analyzed systematically. The corresponding seasonal, local time, and solar activity variations and the hemispheric asymmetry are identified and discussed. Most morphology agree well with previous studies and could be explained by the corresponding variations of neutral wind/composition and ExB vertical drift. We also found some interesting features. During May\textendashAugust, magnetic latitude of the trough could be up to ~5\textdegree north of the equator especially around noontime, and the local time difference corresponding best developed EIA between both hemispheres could be up to ~6\ h. Both crests even move equator-ward with the increase of solar activity in the morning sector except June solstice.

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Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
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