Investigation of Hemispherical Differences in Total Electron Content During Geomagnetic Storms

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 3:22 PM
Katerina R Gonzales1,2, Anthea J Coster2 and Shunrong Zhang2, (1)Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, United States, (2)MIT Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA, United States
The influence of geomagnetic storms on the total electron content (TEC) varies as a function of longitude, season, and hemisphere. None of these differences in TEC are fully understood. Using the TEC data from the ground-based GPS receiver network in the Madrigal database, we analyze the data from 2009 until 2014 in the polar regions from 60 to 90 degrees and -60 to -90 degrees, in the mid-latitudes from 30 to 60 degrees and -30 to -60 degrees, and the equatorial regions from 0 to 30 degrees and 0 to -30 degrees. Our processing started in 2009 due to the better coverage in the GPS ground network in the southern hemisphere in this solar cycle. Case studies are selected from different seasons and longitudes to compare and contrast quiet-time TEC and storm-associated TEC in both hemispheres. We first identify a seasonal dependence of the hourly TEC by analyzing hourly averages in a three-day period around the solstices and equinoxes from 2009 to 2013. Then, we examine storm-time effects on the TEC by examining the hourly averaged TEC in a three day window around a particular storm. We investigate a hypothesis that 1900 UT and 700 UT are favorable times for storm enhanced density (SED) in the northern and southern hemispheres, respectively.