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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 26, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 26, 335-344, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-26-335-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: 3rd European Space Weather Week (ESWW)

Ann. Geophys., 26, 335-344, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-26-335-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  26 Feb 2008

26 Feb 2008

Global electron content: a new conception to track solar activity

E. L. Afraimovich1, E. I. Astafyeva1, A. V. Oinats1, Yu. V. Yasukevich1, and I. V. Zhivetiev2 E. L. Afraimovich et al.
  • 1Institute Solar-Terrestrial Physics SB RAS, Irkutsk, Russia
  • 2Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Radiowave Propagation, FEB RAS, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii, Russia

Abstract. We developed a method and programs for estimation of the global electron content (GEC) from GPS measurements, using the ionosphere models IRI-2001 and NeQuick. During the 23rd cycle of solar activity, the value of GEC varied from 0.8 to 3.2×1032 electrons, following changes in the solar extreme ultra violet (EUV) radiation and solar radio emission at 10.7-cm wavelength. We found a strong resemblance of these variations, with discernible 11-year and 27-day periodicities. A saturation effect of GEC is found when F10.7 increases. We found that GEC is characterized by strong seasonal (semiannual) variations with maximum relative amplitude at about 10% during the rising and falling parts of the solar activity and up to 30% during the period of maximum. It was found that the relative difference between model and experimental GEC series increase as the smoothing time window decreases. We found that GEC-IRI seasonal variations are out-of-phase with experimental GEC values. The lag between model and experimental maximum of GEC values can reach several tens of days. The variations of GEC lag, on average, 2 days after those of F10.7 and UV. GEC completely reflects the dynamics of the active regions on the solar surface. The amplitude of the 27-day GEC variations decreases from 8% at the rising and falling solar activity to 2% at the maximum and at the minimum. We also found that the lifetime of contrast long-living active formations on the Sun's surface in EUV range for more than 1 month exceeds the one in radio range (10.7 cm).

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