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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 33, issue 10
Ann. Geophys., 33, 1311–1319, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-33-1311-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 33, 1311–1319, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-33-1311-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 30 Oct 2015

Regular paper | 30 Oct 2015

Climatology of the ionospheric slab thickness along the longitude of 120° E in China and its adjacent region during the solar minimum years of 2007–2009

Z. Huang1 and H. Yuan2 Z. Huang and H. Yuan
  • 1School of Physics and Electronic Engineering, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, 221116, China
  • 2Academy of Opto-Electronics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100094, China

Abstract. The ionospheric slab thickness is defined as the ratio of the total electron content (TEC) to the ionospheric F2 layer peak electron density (NmF2). In this study, the slab thickness is determined by measuring the ionospheric TEC from dual-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) data and the NmF2 from the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC). A statistical analysis of the diurnal, seasonal and spatial variation in the ionospheric slab thickness is presented along the longitude of 120° E in China and its adjacent region during the recent solar minimum phase (2007–2009). The diurnal ratio, defined as the maximum slab thickness to the minimum slab thickness, and the night-to-day ratio, defined as the slab thickness during daytime to the slab thickness during night-time, are both analysed. The results show that the TEC of the northern crest is greater in winter than in summer, whereas NmF2 is greater in summer than in winter. A pronounced peak of slab thickness occurs during the post-midnight (00:00–04:00 LT) period, when the peak electron density is at the lowest level. A large diurnal ratio exists at the equatorial ionization anomaly, and a large night-to-day ratio occurs near the equatorial latitudes and mid- to high latitudes. It is found that the behaviours of the slab thickness and the F2 peak altitude are well correlated at the latitudes of 30–50° N and during the period of 10:00–16:00 LT. This current study is useful for improvement of the regional model and accurate calculation of the signal delay of radio waves propagating through the ionosphere.

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The climatology of ionospheric slab thickness is analysed using dual-frequency GPS and COSMIC measurements in China during the solar minimum. It is found that a pronounced peak of slab thickness occurs during the post-midnight period. A large diurnal ratio exists at the EIA, and a large night-to-day ratio occurs near the equatorial latitudes and mid- to high latitudes. The behaviours of the slab thickness and the mF2 are well correlated at the middle latitudes and during the daytime.
The climatology of ionospheric slab thickness is analysed using dual-frequency GPS and COSMIC...
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