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Longitudinal variation in the ionosphere-plasmasphere system at the minimum of solar and geomagnetic activity: Investigation of temporal and latitudinal dependences

Abstract : We use the Global Self-consistent Model of the Thermosphere, Ionosphere and Protonosphere (GSM TIP) as the first-principle calculation of the physical system state, the quick-run ionospheric electron density model (NeQuick) as the climatology background, and the International Reference Ionosphere-based Real-Time Assimilative Model for a global view of the ionospheric weather during a quiet period of the December 2009 solstice. The model computations are compared to the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) radio occultation profiles, CHAMP and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment in situ densities, and GPS total electron content (TEC). It is shown that the plasma density in the ionosphere is generally larger in the American/Atlantic longitudinal sector at any local time. The high-latitude density enhancements are visible in the GSM TIP output at different altitudes but are not reproduced by the NeQuick empirical model. Given that observational data confirm an existence of the high-latitude areas where ionospheric densities are elevated in the altitude range between 300 and 480 km, we conclude that the NmF2 maximum in the GSM TIP output can be trusted. Indeed, such high-latitude NmF2, ionospheric electron content, and TEC maxima in the American longitude sector form on the proper places as shown by the GSM TIP data, COSMIC and GPS observations. According to our results, the high-latitude maximum of NmF2 (1) manifests itself only when the integration over LT or UT of the global maps for 22 December 2009 includes nighttime, i.e., supporting an argument of its close association with the Weddell Sea Anomaly, and (2) also appears in the Ne distribution at altitudes above the F2 peak.
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Maxim V. Klimenko, Vladimir V. Klimenko, Irina E. Zakharenkova, Artem M. Vesnin, Iurii V. Cherniak, et al.. Longitudinal variation in the ionosphere-plasmasphere system at the minimum of solar and geomagnetic activity: Investigation of temporal and latitudinal dependences. Radio Science, American Geophysical Union, 2016, 51, pp.1864-1875. ⟨10.1002/2015RS005900⟩. ⟨insu-03581269⟩

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