Geophysical Research Letters
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
NSF, Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences 1441774
NSF, Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences
Much theoretical and observational work has been devoted to studying the occurrence of F region polar cap patches in the Northern Hemisphere; considerably less work has been applied to the Southern Hemisphere. In recent years, the Madrigal database of mappings of total electron content (TEC) has improved in Southern Hemisphere coverage, to the point that we can now carry out a study of patch frequency and occurrence. We find that Southern Hemisphere patch occurrence is very similar to that of the Northern Hemisphere with a half‐year offset, plus an offset in universal time of approximately 12 hr. This is further supported by running an ionospheric model for both hemispheres and applying the same patch‐to‐background technique. Further, we present a simple physical mechanism involving a sunlit dayside plasma source concurrent with a dark polar cap, which yields a patch‐to‐background pattern very much like that seen in the TEC mappings for both hemispheres.
David, M., Sojka, J. J., Schunk, R. W., & Coster, A. J. (2019). Hemispherical shifted symmetry in polar cap patch occurrence: A survey of GPS TEC maps from 2015–2018. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 10726– 10734. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL083952