Remote sensing ionospheric variations due to total solar eclipse, using GNSS observations

Mohamad Mahdi Alizadeh, Harald Schuh, Saeed Zare, Sahar Sobhkhiz-Miandehi, Lung Chih Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


For years great interest has been taken in the effects of physical phenomena on ionosphere structure. A total solar eclipse was visible in North America on August 21st, 2017. This event offered a great opportunity for remote sensing the ionospheric behavior under the eclipse condition. In this study we investigated the effects of total solar eclipse on variations of Total Electron Content (TEC), and consequently deviations on regional models of Vertical TEC (VTEC), as well as variations in ionospheric scintillation occurrence. Although variations of TEC due to total solar eclipse are studied thoroughly by many authors, but the effect of solar eclipse on ionospheric scintillation has never been considered before. Our study is based on measurements from a high-rate GPS network over North America on the day of eclipse, a day before and after its occurrence, on the other hand, GPS measurements from ground-based stations on similar days were used to model TEC on the day of event, and also one day before and after it. The results of this study demonstrate that solar eclipse reduced scintillation occurrence at the totality region up to 28 percent and TEC values showed a decrease of maximum 7 TECU. Considering TEC models, our study showed apparent variations in the regional models, which confirms previous studies on ionospheric responses to eclipse as well as theoretical assumptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-210
Number of pages9
JournalGeodesy and Geodynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2020


  • GPS measurements
  • Ionosphere
  • Ionospheric scintillation
  • Remote sensing
  • Solar eclipse
  • Total electron content


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