TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 64 (No. 6), pp. 521-529, 2012

High latitude TEC fluctuations and irregularity oval during geomagnetic storms

I. I. Shagimuratov1, A. Krankowski2, I. Ephishov1, Yu. Cherniak1, P. Wielgosz2, and I. Zakharenkova1,2

1West Department of IZMIRAN, Kaliningrad, Russia
2Geodynamics Research Laboratory, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland

(Received June 25, 2010; Revised August 1, 2011; Accepted October 8, 2011; Online published July 27, 2012)

Abstract: GPS measurements obtained by the global IGS network were used to study the occurrence of TEC fluctuations in the northern and southern high-latitude ionosphere during severe geomagnetic storms. In the northern hemisphere, GPS stations located higher than 55N Corrected Geomagnetic Latitude (CGL) at different longitudes were selected. In the southern hemisphere, Antarctic permanent GPS stations were used. Dual-frequency GPS measurements for individual satellite passes served as raw data. As a measure of fluctuation activity the rate of TEC (ROT) was used, and the fluctuation intensity was evaluated using the ROTI index. Using daily GPS measurements from all selected stations, images of the spatial and temporal behavior of TEC fluctuations were formed (in Corrected Geomagnetic Coordinates—CGC and geomagnetic local time—GLT). Similarly to the auroral oval, these images demonstrate an irregularity oval. The occurrence of the irregularity oval relates to the auroral oval, cusp and polar cap. During a storm, the intensity of TEC fluctuations essentially increased. The irregularity oval expands equatorward with an increase of magnetic activity. The study showed that the existing high-latitude GPS stations can provide a permanent monitoring tool for the irregularity oval in near real-time. In this paper, the features of the development of phase fluctuations at the geomagnetic conjugate points, and inter-hemispheric differences and similarities during winter and summer conditions, are discussed.
Key words: GPS, TEC fluctuations, modeling of ionosphere, polar cap patches.

Corresponding author E-mail: kand@uwm.edu.pl

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