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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 25, 233-240, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-25-233-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
22 Mar 2018
Complex network description of the ionosphere
Shikun Lu1,2, Hao Zhang1, Xihai Li2, Yihong Li2, Chao Niu2, Xiaoyun Yang2, and Daizhi Liu2 1Department of Electronic and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2Xi'an Research Institute of Hi-Tech, Xi'an, China
Abstract. Complex networks have emerged as an essential approach of geoscience to generate novel insights into the nature of geophysical systems. To investigate the dynamic processes in the ionosphere, a directed complex network is constructed, based on a probabilistic graph of the vertical total electron content (VTEC) from 2012. The results of the power-law hypothesis test show that both the out-degree and in-degree distribution of the ionospheric network are not scale-free. Thus, the distribution of the interactions in the ionosphere is homogenous. None of the geospatial positions play an eminently important role in the propagation of the dynamic ionospheric processes. The spatial analysis of the ionospheric network shows that the interconnections principally exist between adjacent geographical locations, indicating that the propagation of the dynamic processes primarily depends on the geospatial distance in the ionosphere. Moreover, the joint distribution of the edge distances with respect to longitude and latitude directions shows that the dynamic processes travel further along the longitude than along the latitude in the ionosphere. The analysis of small-world-ness indicates that the ionospheric network possesses the small-world property, which can make the ionosphere stable and efficient in the propagation of dynamic processes.
Citation: Lu, S., Zhang, H., Li, X., Li, Y., Niu, C., Yang, X., and Liu, D.: Complex network description of the ionosphere, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 25, 233-240, https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-25-233-2018, 2018.
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