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Statistical characteristics of total electron content intensifications on global ionospheric maps

Meng, X., Verkhoglyadova, O. P., Chapman, S. C., Watkins, Nicholas W. ORCID: 0000-0003-4484-6588 and Cafolla, M. (2024) Statistical characteristics of total electron content intensifications on global ionospheric maps. Space Weather, 22 (1). ISSN 1542-7390

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Identification Number: 10.1029/2023SW003695


Global ionospheric total electron content (TEC) maps exhibit TEC intensifications and depletions of various sizes and shapes. Characterizing key features on TEC maps and understanding their dynamic coupling with external drivers can significantly benefit space weather forecasting. However, comprehensive analysis of ionospheric structuring over decades of TEC maps is currently lacking due to large data volume. We develop feature extraction software based on image processing techniques to extract TEC intensification regions, that is, contiguous regions with sufficiently elevated TEC values than surrounding areas, from global TEC maps. Applying the software to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Global Ionospheric Map data, we generate a TEC intensification data set for years 2003–2022 and carry out a statistical study on the number and strength of TEC intensifications. We find that the majority of the TEC maps (about 86%) are characterized with one or two intensification(s), while the rest of the TEC maps have three or more intensifications. Both the number and strength of TEC intensifications exhibit semi-annual variation that peaks near equinoxes and dips near solstices, as well as an annual asymmetry with larger values around December solstice compared to June solstice. The number and strength of intensifications increase with enhanced solar extreme-violet irradiance. The strength of intensifications also increases with elevated geomagnetic activity, but the number of intensifications does not. In addition, the number of intensifications is not correlated with the strength of intensifications.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2024 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology and The Authors
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2024 10:33
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 16:45

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