Published in

De Gruyter, Journal of Applied Geodesy, 0(0), 2024

DOI: 10.1515/jag-2024-0009



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Geomagnetic storm effect on equatorial ionosphere over Sri Lanka through total electron content observations from continuously operating reference stations network during Mar–Apr 2022

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Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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Abstract The technological advancements in the current era have highlighted the increasing significance of satellite-based positioning, navigation, and timing services in a wide range of dynamic and critical applications. This has led to significant efforts towards enhancing the performance of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) operating under challenging ionospheric conditions. The Sri Lankan ionosphere region is a focal point of equatorial aeronomy scientists, being situated in the southernmost landmass of the Indian longitude sector within the vicinity of the magnetic equator where a combination of electric, wind, and temperature dynamics exerts a substantial influence on the ionosphere but was relatively unexplored in the past. In the present work, we employed a Kriging interpolation technique on the total electron content (TEC) variables from ten GNSS receivers operating under the Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) network in Sri Lanka first ever of its kind to deliver two-dimensional regional ionospheric TEC maps at hourly intervals, both during quiet and disturbed ionospheric conditions in the equinoctial March and April months of 2022. The latitudinal variation patterns are discernable from the hourly TEC maps. Furthermore, a comparative analysis of the performance of GNSS-derived TEC with that of the routinely published Global Ionospheric Maps (GIMs) confirms overestimation characteristics of the latter irrespective of the local time of observation. The generated regional ionospheric maps are fairly responsive to the onset of the storm and the recovery phase thereafter. The extent of nighttime ionospheric irregularity is also probed through the rate of TEC index (ROTI) variations, demonstrating that the irregularities were insignificant during the selected storm event.