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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 36, issue 2 | Copyright
Ann. Geophys., 36, 489-496, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-36-489-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 22 Mar 2018

Regular paper | 22 Mar 2018

Seasonal variations of thermospheric mass density at dawn/dusk from GOCE observations

Libin Weng1,2, Jiuhou Lei1, Eelco Doornbos3, Hanxian Fang2, and Xiankang Dou1 Libin Weng et al.
  • 1CAS Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 2College of Meteorology and Oceanography, National University of Defense Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 3Delft Institute of Earth Observation and Space Systems, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands

Abstract. Thermospheric mass densities from the GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite for Sun-synchronous orbits between 83.5°S and 83.5°N, normalized to 270km during 2009–2013, have been used to develop an empirical mass density model at dawn/dusk local solar time (LST) sectors based on the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) method. The main results of this study are that (1) the dawn densities peak in the polar regions, but the dusk densities maximize in the equatorial regions; (2) the relative seasonal variations to the annual mean have similar patterns across all latitudes regardless of solar activity conditions; (3) the seasonal density variations show obvious hemispheric asymmetry, with large amplitudes in the Southern Hemisphere; (4) both amplitude and phase of the seasonal variations have strong latitudinal and solar activity dependences, with high amplitude for the annual variation at higher latitudes and semiannual variation at lower latitudes; (5) the annual asymmetry and effect of the Sun–Earth distance vary with latitude and solar activity.

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Thermospheric mass density from the GOCE satellite for Sun-synchronous orbits between 83.5° S and 83.5° N normalized to 270 km during 2009–2013 has been used to develop our GOCE model at dawn/dusk local solar time sectors based on the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) method. We find that both amplitude and phase of the seasonal variations have strong latitudinal and solar activity dependences, and the annual asymmetry and effect of the Sun–Earth distance vary with latitude and solar activity.
Thermospheric mass density from the GOCE satellite for Sun-synchronous orbits between 83.5° S...
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