Equatorial ionization anomaly development as studied by GPS TEC and foF2 over Brazil: A comparison of observations with model results from SUPIM and IRI-2012


The equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) development is studied using the total electron content (TEC) observed by the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, the F2-layer critical frequency (foF2) as measured by digisondes operated in the Brazilian sector, and by model simulation using the SUPIM (Sheffield University Plasmasphere Ionosphere Model). We have used two indices based on foF2 and TEC to represent the strength of the EIA Southern Anomaly Crest (SAC), which are denoted, respectively, by SAC(foF2) and SAC(TEC). Significant differences in the local time variations of the EIA intensity, as represented by these two indices, are investigated. The observed SAC indices are compared with their values modeled by the SUPIM and also by the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI)\textemdash2012. The SUPIM simulations that use the standard E\texttimesB plasma drift and neutral air wind models are found to provide acceptable representations of the observed foF2 and TEC, and hence the indices SAC(foF2) and SAC(TEC) during daytime, whereas the IRI-2012 model is not, except during the post-midnight/sunrise hours. It is found that the differences in the local time variations between the SAC(foF2) and SAC(TEC) can be reduced by limiting the TEC integrations in height up to an altitude of 630\ km in the SUPIM calculations. It is also found that when the EIA intensity is calculated for an intermediate dip latitude (12\textdegreeS) the difference between the local time variation patterns of the two corresponding indices in the experimental data and in the SUPIM results is reduced. For the IRI-2012 values, the subequatorial station modification does not appear to have any effect.

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Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
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