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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 29, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 29, 1501–1515, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 29, 1501–1515, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 31 Aug 2011

Regular paper | 31 Aug 2011

Modeling ionospheric foF2 by using empirical orthogonal function analysis

E. A1,2, D.-H. Zhang1,3, Z. Xiao1,3, Y.-Q. Hao1, A. J. Ridley2, and M. Moldwin2 E. A et al.
  • 1Institute of Space Physics and Applied Technology, School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 2Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. A similar-parameters interpolation method and an empirical orthogonal function analysis are used to construct empirical models for the ionospheric foF2 by using the observational data from three ground-based ionosonde stations in Japan which are Wakkanai (Geographic 45.4° N, 141.7° E), Kokubunji (Geographic 35.7° N, 140.1° E) and Yamagawa (Geographic 31.2° N, 130.6° E) during the years of 1971–1987. The impact of different drivers towards ionospheric foF2 can be well indicated by choosing appropriate proxies. It is shown that the missing data of original foF2 can be optimal refilled using similar-parameters method. The characteristics of base functions and associated coefficients of EOF model are analyzed. The diurnal variation of base functions can reflect the essential nature of ionospheric foF2 while the coefficients represent the long-term alteration tendency. The 1st order EOF coefficient A1 can reflect the feature of the components with solar cycle variation. A1 also contains an evident semi-annual variation component as well as a relatively weak annual fluctuation component. Both of which are not so obvious as the solar cycle variation. The 2nd order coefficient A2 contains mainly annual variation components. The 3rd order coefficient A3 and 4th order coefficient A4 contain both annual and semi-annual variation components. The seasonal variation, solar rotation oscillation and the small-scale irregularities are also included in the 4th order coefficient A4. The amplitude range and developing tendency of all these coefficients depend on the level of solar activity and geomagnetic activity. The reliability and validity of EOF model are verified by comparison with observational data and with International Reference Ionosphere (IRI). The agreement between observations and EOF model is quite well, indicating that the EOF model can reflect the major changes and the temporal distribution characteristics of the mid-latitude ionosphere of the Sea of Japan region. The error analysis processes imply that there are seasonal anomaly and semi-annual asymmetry phenomena which are consistent with pre-existing ionosphere theory.

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