Temporal and spatial variations in ionospheric electron density profiles over South Africa during strong magnetic storms
Observations from the South African TrigNet global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and vertical total electron content (VTEC) data from the Jason-1 satellite were used to analyze the variations in ionospheric electron density profiles over South Africa before and after the severe geomagnetic storms on 15 May 2005. Computerized ionospheric tomography (CIT) was used to inverse the 3-D structure of ionospheric electron density and its response to the magnetic storms. Inversion results showed that electron density significantly increased at 10:00 UT, 15 May compared with that at the same period on 14 May. Positive ionospheric storms were observed in the inversion region during the magnetic storms. Jason-1 data show that the VTEC observed on descending orbits on 15 May significantly increased, whereas that on ascending orbits only minimally changed. This finding is identical to the CIT result.