J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 2, 2012
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||13 June 2012|
Extreme changes in the dayside ionosphere during a Carrington-type magnetic storm
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
2 CSPAR, University of Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama, USA
3 Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai, Maharastra, India
4 Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, USA
* corresponding author: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 12 May 2012
It is shown that during the 30 October 2003 superstorm, dayside O+ ions were uplifted to DMSP altitudes (~850 km). Peak densities were ~9 × 105 cm−3 during the magnetic storm main phase (peak Dst = −390 nT). By comparison the 1–2 September 1859 Carrington magnetic storm (peak Dst estimated at −1760 nT) was considerably stronger. We investigate the impact of this storm on the low- to mid-latitude ionosphere using a modified version of the NRL SAMI2 ionospheric code. It is found that the equatorial region (LAT = 0° ± 15°) is swept free of plasma within 15 min (or less) of storm onset. The plasma is swept to higher altitudes and higher latitudes due to E × B convection associated with the prompt penetration electric field. Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA) O+ density enhancements are found to be located within the broad range of latitudes ~ ± (25°–40°) at ~500–900 km altitudes. Densities within these peaks are ~6 × 106 oxygen ions-cm−3 at ~700 km altitude, approximately +600% quiet time values. The oxygen ions at the top portions (850–1000 km) of uplifted EIAs will cause strong low-altitude satellite drag. Calculations are currently being performed on possible uplift of oxygen neutrals by ion-neutral coupling to understand if there might be further significant satellite drag forces present.
Key words: ionosphere (equatorial) / ionosphere (mid latitude) / electric field / coronal mass ejection (CME) / flares
© Owned by the authors, Published by EDP Sciences 2012
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License 3.0
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