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TIE-GCM (2.0)

Thermosphere Ionosphere Electrodynamics General Circulation Model

Model Description

The NCAR Thermosphere-Ionosphere- Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIE-GCM) is a comprehensive, first-principles, three-dimensional, non-linear representation of the coupled thermosphere and ionosphere system that includes a self-consistent solution of the low-latitude electric field. The model solves the three-dimensional momentum, energy and continuity equations for neutral and ion species at each time step, using a semi-implicit, fourth-order, centered finite difference scheme, on each pressure surface in a staggered vertical grid. It has 29 constant-pressure levels in the vertical, extending from approximately 97 km to 500 km in intervals of one-half scale height, and a 5° x 5° latitude-longitude grid, in its base configuration. The time step is 120 s.

Hydrostatic equilibrium, constant gravity, steady-state ion and electron energy equations, and incompressibility on a constant pressure surface, are assumed. Ion velocities are derived from the potential field created by combining the imposed magnetospheric potential with the low-latitude dynamo potential, and then calculating ion velocities from ExB drifts, rather than solving the ion momentum equations explicitly. Some minor species are not currently included in the model, including hydrogen and helium and their ions, and argon. Several parameterizations are used in the TIE-GCM: an empirical model is used to specify photoelectron heating; the production of secondary electrons is included using an empirical model derived from two-stream calculations, the effects of mixing by gravity waves are included using an eddy diffusion formulation; CO2 is included by specifying a lower boundary condition and assuming that it is in diffusive equilibrium. The upper boundary conditions for electron heat transfer and electron number flux are empirical formulations. At the lower boundary, atmospheric tides are specified using the Global Scale Wave Model (GSWM).

Model Figure(s) :

  • TIE-GCM 2.0 Sample Model Output Diagram
  • Model Inputs Description

    Solar EUV inputs:
    F107 (current daily F10.7 solar index) and F107A (81-day center-averaged F10.7 solar index)
    Particle precipitation:
    Hemispheric Power in GW, obtained from 3-hour Kp index
    Ionospheric electric fields at high latitudes:
    Provided by Heelis model and Weimer model.
    Inputs for Heelis model:
    Cross polar cap potential in kV, obtained from 3-hour Kp index Hemispheric Power in GW, obtained from 3-hour Kp index Optional (not implemented): y-component of the interplanetary magnetic field (By) in nT
    Inputs for Weimer model: 
    Interplanetary magnetic field, By and Bz, in nT Solar wind density and speed, ρ and v, in cm-3 and km s-1
    Inputs for lower boundary: 
    Diurnal and semi-diurnal migrating tides, specified by the GSWM

    Model Outputs Description

    Primary timed-dependent output fields, specified in latitude, longitude, and pressure level:
    Geopotential height: Height of pressure surfaces (cm)
    Temperatures: Neutral, ion, electron (K)
    Neutral winds: zonal, meridional, (cm s-1), vertical (s-1)
    Composition: O, O2, NO, N(4S), N(2D) (mass mixing ratios - dimensionless)
    Ion and electron densities: O+, O2+, Ne (cm-3), (NO+ is calculated from Ne - (O+ + O2+))
    Electric potential: (V)
    Other fields are available as secondary histories which can be set as needed.

    Model Caveats


    Change Log


    Model Acknowledgement/Publication Policy (if any)


    Model Domains:


    Space Weather Impacts:

    Ionosphere variability (navigation, communications)
    Atmosphere variability (satellite/debris drag)

    Phenomena :


    Simulation Type(s):


    Temporal Dependence Possible? (whether the code results depend on physical time?)


    Hosted at CCMC?


    CCMC Model Status (e.g. onboarding, use in production, retired, only hosting output):


    Code Language:


    Publicly Accessible Model Code Repository:

    Regions (this is automatically mapped based on model domain):

    Earth.Near Surface.Ionosphere
    Earth.Near Surface.Thermosphere

    Contacts :

    Stan.Solomon, ModelContact
    Wenbin.Wang, ModelHostContact
    Ben.Foster, ModelContact
    Jia.Yue, ModelHostContact
    Katherine.Garcia-Sage, ModelHostContact

    Acknowledgement/Institution :

    High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research

    Relevant Links :

    TIE-GCM Web Page:
    User Guide:
    Release Notes:

    Publications :

  • Roble, R. G., R. E., Dickinson and E. C. Ridley, Seasonal and solar-cycle variations of zonal mean circulation in the thermosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 82, 5493-5504, 1977.
  • Dickinson, R. E., E. C. Ridley and R. G. Roble, A three-dimensional general circulation model of the thermosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 86, 1499-1512, 1981.
  • Roble, R. G., R.E. Dickinson, and E. C. Ridley, Global circulation and temperature structure of the thermosphere with high-latitude plasma convection, J. Geophys, Res., 87, 1599-1614, 1982.
  • Dickinson, R. E., E. C. Ridley and R. G. Roble, Thermospheric general circulation with coupled dynamics and composition, J. Atmos. Sci., 41, 205-219, 1984.
  • Roble, R. G., E. C. Ridley and R. E. Dickinson, On the global mean structure of the thermosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 92, 8745-8758, 1987.
  • Roble, R. G., and E. C. Ridley, An auroral model for the NCAR thermospheric general circulation model (TGCM), Annales Geophys., 5A, 369-382, 1987.
  • Roble, R. G., E. C. Ridley, A. D. Richmond and R. E. Dickinson, A coupled thermosphere / ionosphere general circulation model, Geophys. Res. Lett., 15, 1325-1328, 1988.
  • Richmond, A. D.., E. C. Ridley, and R. G. Roble, A thermosphere/ionosphere general circulation model with coupled electrodynamics, Geophys. Res. Lett., 6, 601-604, 1992.
  • Roble, R. G., Energetics of the mesosphere and thermosphere, AGU, Geophysical Monographs, eds. R. M. Johnson and T. L. Killeen, 87, 1-22, 1995.
  • Richmond, A. D., Ionospheric Electrodynamics Using Magnetic Apex Coordinates, J. Geomag. Geoelectr., 47, 191-212, 1995.
  • Hagan, M. E., M. D. Burrage, J. M. Forbes, J. Hackney, W. J. Randel, and X. Zhang (1999), GSWM-98: Results for migrating solar tides, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 6813-6827.
  • Wang, W., T. L. Killeen, A. G. Burns, and R. G. Roble, A high-resolution, three-dimensional, time dependent, nested grid model of the coupled thermosphere-ionosphere, J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys, 61, 385-397, 1999.
  • Wiltberger, M., W. Wang, A. Burns, S. Solomon, J. G. Lyon, and C. C. Goodrich, Initial results from the coupled magnetosphere ionosphere thermosphere model: magnetospheric and ionospheric responses, J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys., 66, 1411-1444, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2004.03.026, 2004.
  • Wang, W., M. Wiltberger, A. G. Burns, S. Solomon, T. L. Killeen, N. Maruyama, and J. Lyon, Initial results from the CISM coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere (CMIT) model: thermosphere ionosphere responses, J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys., 66, 1425-1442, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2004.04.008, 2004.
  • Solomon, S. C., and L. Qian, Solar extreme-ultraviolet irradiance for general circulation models, J. Geophys. Res., 110, A10306, doi:10.1029/2005JA011160, 2005.
  • Qian, L., S. C. Solomon, and T. J. Kane, Seasonal variation of thermospheric density and composition, J. Geophys. Res., 114, A01312, doi:10.1029/2008JA013643, 2009.
  • Model Access Information :

    Access URL:
    Access URL Name: Runs-on-Request
    Repository ID: spase://CCMC/Repository/NASA/GSFC/CCMC
    Availability: online
    AccessRights: OPEN
    Format: HTML
    Encoding: None

    Linked to Other Spase Resource(s) (example: another SimulationModel) :

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