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Global ionospheric total electron contents (TECs) during the last two solar minimum periods

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Global ionospheric total electron contents (TECs) during the last two solar minimum periods
Other Titles
지난 태양 극소기의 전리권 전자밀도 분포 연구
Lee, Han-Byul
Stanley C. Solomon
Jee, Geonhwa
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Issue Date
Lee, Han-Byul, Stanley C. Solomon, Jee, Geonhwa. 2014. "Global ionospheric total electron contents (TECs) during the last two solar minimum periods". JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS, 119: 2090-2100.
The last solar minimum period was anomalously extended and low in EUV irradiance compared with previous solar minima. It can readily be expected that the thermosphere and the ionosphere must be correspondingly affected by this low solar activity. While there have been unanimous reports on the thermospheric changes, being cooler and lower in its density as expected, the ionospheric responses to low solar activity in previous studies were not consistent with each other, probably due to the limited ionospheric observations used for them. In this study, we utilized the measurements of total electron content (TEC) from TOPEX and JASON-1 satellites during the periods of 1992 to 2010, which includes both the last two solar minimum periods, in order to investigate how the ionosphere responded to the extremely low solar activity during the last solar minimum compared with previous solar minimum. Although the global daily mean TECs show negligible differences between the two solar minimum periods, the global TEC maps reveal that there are significant systematic differences ranging from about 30% to +50% depending on local time, latitude, and season. The systematic variations of the ionospheric responses seem to mainly result from the relative effects of reduced solar EUV production and reduced recombination rate due to thermospheric changes during the last solar minimum period.
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