Investigation of the planar midlatitude ionospheric trend under different levels of solar activity


Advances in Space Research, vol.71, no.5, pp.2252-2268, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 71 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.asr.2022.10.059
  • Journal Name: Advances in Space Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Artic & Antarctic Regions, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, INSPEC, MEDLINE, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.2252-2268
  • Keywords: Midlatitude Ionosphere, Total Electron Content, Planar Trend Model, Estimation, Least Squares
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 COSPARA better understanding of the ionosphere through accurate mathematical models is no doubt a crucial element. This study focuses on the challenging problem of building a model representing the complex structure of the midlatitude ionosphere. Previous studies have shown that a regional planar model is suitable in representing the total electron content (TEC) trend in the midlatitude ionosphere in both hemispheres. In this study, the planar trend model for 12 non-overlapping northern hemisphere regions in three groups of geographically near 4 regions is further investigated under different levels of solar activity; low, moderate and high. To that end, the coefficients of the model are estimated in the least squares sense using total electron content values from global ionospheric maps (GIMs) for the years 2009, 2012 and 2014. Subsequently, these coefficients are used to reconstruct estimated TEC maps which are then compared with actual GIM-TEC by investigating their difference in normalized L2 norm squared sense. The regional planar trend model provides a particularly successful representation in the years 2012 and 2014 for which the solar activity level is the dominant factor determining the TEC trend. Under low solar activity conditions of 2009, other factors such as ocean currents, temperature variations and meteorological phenomena are suspected to have a considerable effect in some regions depending on their geographic location and on seasonal trends in those regions. As an example, studies show that under the influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Siberian High (SH), a significant cooling trend between 2004 and 2018 in autumn is observed in Eurasia, which, in conjunction with the low solar activity levels, may be related to the deviations from the actual GIM-TEC in 2009 in these regions. As solar radiation increases, however, such bottom-side forcings are masked in 2012 and 2014 and these deviations are no longer observed.