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Transient variations of vertical total electron content over some African stations from 2002 to 2012

Abstract : This paper presents the vertical total electron content vTEC variations for three African stations, located at mid-low and equatorial latitudes, and operating since more than 10 years. The vTEC of the middle latitude GPS station in Alexandria, Egypt (31.2167°N; 29.9667°E, geographic) is compared to the vTEC of two others GPS stations: the first one in Rabat/Morocco (33.9981°N; 353.1457°E, geographic), and the second in Libreville/Gabon (0.3539°N; 9.6721°E, geographic). Our results discussed the diurnal, seasonal, and solar cycle dependences of vTEC at the local ionospheric conditions, during different phases of solar cycle in the light of the classification of Legrand and Simon. The vTEC over Alexandria exhibits the well-known equinoctial asymmetry which changes with the phases of the solar cycle; the spring vTEC is larger than that of autumn during the maximum, decreasing and minimum phases of solar cycle 23. During the increasing phase of solar cycle 24, it is the contrary. The diurnal variation of the vTEC presents multiple maxima during the equinox from 2005 to 2008 and during the summer solstice from 2006 to 2012. A nighttime vTEC enhancement and winter anomaly are also observed. During the deep solar minimum (2006–2009) the diurnal variation of the vTEC observed over Alexandria is similar to the diurnal variation observed during quiet magnetic period at equatorial latitudes. We observed also that the amplitude of vTEC at Libreville is larger than the amplitude of vTEC observed at Alexandria and Rabat, indeed Libreville is near the southern crest of the Equatorial Ionization anomaly. Finally, the correlation coefficient between vTEC and the sunspot number Rz is high and changes with solar cycle phases.
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Amira Shimeis, Christine Amory-Mazaudier, Rolland Fleury, A.M. Mahrous, A.F. Hassan. Transient variations of vertical total electron content over some African stations from 2002 to 2012. Advances in Space Research, Elsevier, 2014, 54 (11), pp.2159-2171. ⟨10.1016/j.asr.2014.07.038⟩. ⟨hal-01302424⟩

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