Climatological behaviour of the Ionospheric-Plasmaspheric Total Electron Content over Antarctica

4 Dec 2017, 11:30
Meridian Room (Royal Observatory of Belgium)

Meridian Room

Royal Observatory of Belgium

Ringlaan 3, 1180 Brussels, Belgium


The understanding of the impact of solar activity on polar regions upper atmosphere is not as strong as compare to low and mid-latitudes due to lack of experimental observations, especially over Antarctica. To characterize the differences in the ionosphere-plasmasphere total electron content (TEC) climatological patterns over Antarctica, we reprocessed the GNSS (GPS + GLONASS) data available since 1999 up to now for stations situated at latitudes below S50°. For that, we used the data from POLENET/IGS networks and stations installed around the Princess Elisabeth polar Base (Utsteinen, North-East Antarctica). The estimated TEC data set is then employed to constrain an empirical model to predict the TEC from F10.7P solar index in entrance using a least-square adjustment. To minimize the differences between the modelled and observed vTEC we considered: (1) an eight-order polynomial function with monthly coefficients between the TEC and F10.7P; (2) a discretization with respect to different zones over Antarctica region to highlight different climatological patterns; (3) different time definitions such as Solar Local Time, Magnetic Local Time, and UTC. From the output of this model we discuss the different climatological behaviors identified in the ionosphere- plasmasphere TEC at these high latitudes. Finally, we show some examples of typical TEC disturbances observed during extreme solar events.

Primary author

Dr Nicolas Bergeot (Royal Observatory of Belgium)


Mr Jean-Marie Chevalier (Royal Observatory of Belgium)

Presentation Materials