Articles | Volume 21, issue 1
Research article
20 Jan 2014
Research article |  | 20 Jan 2014

The comparative study of chaoticity and dynamical complexity of the low-latitude ionosphere, over Nigeria, during quiet and disturbed days

B. O. Ogunsua, J. A. Laoye, I. A. Fuwape, and A. B. Rabiu

Abstract. The deterministic chaotic behavior and dynamical complexity of the space plasma dynamical system over Nigeria are analyzed in this study and characterized. The study was carried out using GPS (Global Positioning System) TEC (Total Electron Content) time series, measured in the year 2011 at three GPS receiver stations within Nigeria, which lies within the equatorial ionization anomaly region. The TEC time series for the five quietest and five most disturbed days of each month of the year were selected for the study. The nonlinear aspect of the TEC time series was obtained by detrending the data. The detrended TEC time series were subjected to various analyses for phase space reconstruction and to obtain the values of chaotic quantifiers like Lyapunov exponents, correlation dimension and also Tsallis entropy for the measurement of dynamical complexity. The observations made show positive Lyapunov exponents (LE) for both quiet and disturbed days, which indicates chaoticity, and for different days the chaoticity of the ionosphere exhibits no definite pattern for either quiet or disturbed days. However, values of LE were lower for the storm period compared with its nearest relative quiet periods for all the stations. The monthly averages of LE and entropy also show no definite pattern for the month of the year. The values of the correlation dimension computed range from 2.8 to 3.5, with the lowest values recorded at the storm period of October 2011. The surrogate data test shows a significance of difference greater than 2 for all the quantifiers. The entropy values remain relatively close, with slight changes in these values during storm periods. The values of Tsallis entropy show similar variation patterns to those of Lyapunov exponents, with a lot of agreement in their comparison, with all computed values of Lyapunov exponents correlating with values of Tsallis entropy within the range of 0.79 to 0.81. These results show that both quantifiers can be used together as indices in the study of the variation of the dynamical complexity of the ionosphere. The results also show a strong play between determinism and stochasticity. The behavior of the ionosphere during these storm and quiet periods for the seasons of the year are discussed based on the results obtained from the chaotic quantifiers.