GPS TEC near the crest of the EIA at 95\textdegreeE during the ascending half of solar cycle 24 and comparison with IRI simulations


Total electron content (TEC) data obtained from GPS dual frequency measurements during the ascending half of the solar cycle 24 from 2009 to 2012 over Dibrugarh (27.5\textdegreeN, 94.9\textdegreeE; 17.6\textdegreeN MLAT) have been used to study the diurnal, seasonal, annual and solar cycle variation of TEC. The measurements reported here are for the first time from the location situated at the poleward edge of the northern equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) and within the peak region of the longitudinal wave number 4 (WN4) structure in EIA crest TEC. TEC exhibits a minimum around 0600\ LT and diurnal maximum around 1300\textendash1600\ LT. In the low and moderate solar activity years 2009\textendash2010 and 2010\textendash2011, average daytime (1000\textendash1600\ LT) TEC in summer was higher (25.4 and 36.6 TECU) compared to that in winter (21.5 and 26.1 TECU). However, at the peak of the solar cycle in 2011\textendash2012, reversal in the level of ionization between winter and summer takes place and winter TEC becomes higher (50.6 TECU) than that in summer (45.0 TECU). Further, TEC in spring (34.1, 49.9 and 63.3 TECU respectively in 2009\textendash10, 2010\textendash11 and 2011\textendash12) is higher than that in autumn (24.2, 32.3 and 51.9 TECU respectively) thus showing equinoctial asymmetry in all the years of observation. The winter anomaly in high solar activity years and equinoctial asymmetry all throughout may be largely attributed to changes in the thermospheric O/N2 density ratio. A winter to summer delay of \~1\ h in the time of occurrence of the diurnal maximum has also been observed. Daytime maximum TEC bears a nonlinear relationship with F10.7 cm solar flux. TEC increases linearly with F10.7 cm solar flux initially up to about 140\ sfu (1\ sfu\ =\ 10-22\ W\ m-2\ Hz-1) after which it tends to saturate. On the contrary, TEC increases linearly with solar EUV flux (photons cm-2\ s-1, 0.5\textendash50\ nm) during the same period. TEC predicted by the IRI 2012 are lower than the measured TEC for nearly 90\% of the time.

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Advances in Space Research
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