Study of TEC, slab-thickness and neutral temperature of the thermosphere in the Indian low latitude sector
- Space Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India
Abstract. The ionospheric equivalent slab-thickness is an important parameter which measures the skewness of the electron density profile of the ionosphere. In this paper, the diurnal, seasonal, day-to-day and latitudinal variations of ionospheric parameters namely total electron content (TEC), the peak ionization density of F-layer (NmF2), equivalent slab-thickness (τ) and neutral temperature (Tn) are presented. The simultaneous data of GPS-TEC and NmF2 from Trivandrum (8.47° N, 76.91° E), Waltair (17.7° N, 83.3° E) and Delhi (28.58° N, 77.21° E) are used to compute the slab-thickness (τ = TEC/NmF2) of the low sunspot period, 2004–2005. The day-time TEC values at Waltair are found to be greater than those at Trivandrum, while at Delhi the day-time TEC values are much lower compared to those at Trivandrum and Waltair. The trends of variation in the monthly mean diurnal variation of TEC and NmF2 are similar at Delhi, while they are different at Trivandrum and Waltair during the day-time. The slab-thickness (τ) has shown a pre-sunrise peak around 05:00 LT at all the three stations, except during the summer months over Delhi. A consistent secondary peak in slab-thickness around noon hours has also been observed at Trivandrum and Waltair. During equinox and winter months a large night-time enhancement in the slab-thickness (comparable to the early morning peak in slab-thickness) is observed at Delhi. The latitudinal variation of slab-thickness has shown a decrease from the equatorial station, Trivandrum to the low-mid latitude station, Delhi. The neutral temperatures (Tn) computed from the slab-thickness (τ) has shown a sharp increase around 05:00 LT over Trivandrum and Waltair. Whereas at Delhi, a double peaking around 05:00 and 23:00 LT is observed during winter and equinoctial months. The neutral temperatures computed are compare well with those of the MSIS-90 model derived temperatures.