A comparative study of GPS ionospheric scintillations and ionogram spread F over Sanya
- 1Key Laboratory of Earth and Planetary Physics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
- 2Beijing National Observatory of Space Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
- 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Abstract. We analyze the data recorded during December 2011–November 2012 by a digital ionosonde and a GPS (Global Positioning System) scintillation and (total electron content) TEC receiver collocated at Sanya (109.6° E, 18.3° N; dip lat. 12.8° N), a low-latitude station in the Chinese longitude sector, to carry out a comparative study of ionospheric scintillations and spread F. A good consistency between the temporal variations of GPS scintillation (represented by the S4 index) and of ionogram spread F (represented by the QF index) is found in the pre-midnight period during equinox. However in the post-midnight period during equinox and in the period from post-sunset to pre-sunrise during June solstice, moderate spread F is seen without concurrent GPS scintillation. The possible cause responsible for the difference between post-midnight GPS scintillation and spread F during equinox could be due to the decaying of 400 m scale irregularities associated with equatorial spread F. Regarding the irregularities producing moderate QF and low S4 indices during June solstice, we suggest that the frequently observed sporadic E (Es) layer and the medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MSTIDs) over Sanya could play important roles in triggering the June solstitial spread-F events.