Plasmaspheric contribution to the GPS TEC

  • Jee, Geon-Hwa (Korea Polar Research Institute) ;
  • Lee, Han-Byul (Korea Polar Research Institute) ;
  • Kim, Yong-Ha (Department of Space and Astronomy, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Chung, Jong-Kyun (Space Geodesy Research Group, Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute) ;
  • Cho, Jung-Ho (Space Geodesy Research Group, Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute)
  • Published : 2010.04.15


We performed a comprehensive comparison between GPS Global Ionosphere Map (GIM) and TOPEX/Jason (T-J) TEC data for the periods of 1998~2009 in order to assess the performance of GIM over the global ocean where the GPS ground stations are very sparse. Using the GIM model constructed by CODE at University of Bern, the GIM TEC values were obtained along the T-J satellite orbit at the locations and times of the measurements and then binned into various geophysical conditions for direct comparison with the T-J TECs. On the whole, the GIM model was able to reproduce the spatial and temporal variations of the global ionosphere as well as the seasonal variations. However, the GIM model was not accurate enough to represent the well-known ionospheric structures such as the equatorial anomaly, the Weddell Sea Anomaly, and the longitudinal wave structure. Furthermore, there seems to be a fundamental limitation of the model showing the unexpected negative differences (i.e., GPS < T-J) in the northern high latitude and the southern middle and high latitude regions. The positive relative differences (i.e., GIM > T-J) at night represent the plasmaspheric contribution to GPS TEC, which is maximized, reaching up to 100% of the corresponding T-J TEC values in the early morning sector. In particular, the relative differences decreased with increasing solar activity and this may indicate that the plasmaspheric contribution to the maintenance of the nighttime ionosphere does not increase with solar activity, which is different from what we normally anticipate. Among these results, the plasmaspheric contribution to the ionospheric GPS TEC will be presented in this talk and the rest of it will presented in the companion paper (poster presentation).