Latitudinal characteristics of GPS derived ionospheric TEC: a comparative study with IRI 2012 model

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Monti Chakraborty
Sanjay Kumar
Barin Kumar De
Anirban Guha


The present study investigates the variation of Total Electron Content (TEC) using Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites from four equatorial to mid-latitudes stations over a period of one year. The stations are Port Blair (11.63°N, 92.70°E), Agartala (23.75°N, 91.25°E), Lhasa (29.65°N, 91.10°E) and Urumqi (43.46°N, 87.16°E). The diurnal, monthly and seasonal variations of TEC have been explored to study its latitudinal characteristics. Analysis of TEC data from these stations reveals the characteristics of latitudinal variation of Equatorial Ionospheric Anomaly (EIA). To validate the latest IRI 2012 model, the monthly and seasonal variations of GPS-TEC at all the four stations have been compared with the model for three different topside options of electron density, namely, NeQuick, IRI-01-corr and IRI-2001. TEC predictions from IRI-2001 top side electron density option using IRI 2012 model overestimates the observed TEC especially at the low latitudes. TEC from IRI- NeQuick and IRI-01-corr options shows a tendency to underestimate the observed TEC during the day time particularly in low latitude region in the high solar activity period. The agreement between the model and observed values are reasonable in mid latitude regions. However, a discrepancy between IRI 2012 derived TEC with the ground based observations at low latitude regions is found. The discrepancy appears to be higher in low-latitude regions in comparison to mid latitude regions. It is concluded that largest discrepancy in TEC occur as a result of poor estimation of the hmF2 and foF2 from the coefficients.

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Chakraborty M, Kumar S, De BK, Guha A. Latitudinal characteristics of GPS derived ionospheric TEC: a comparative study with IRI 2012 model. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2014Oct.14 [cited 2022May28];57(5):A0539. Available from:
Physics of the Atmosphere