Longitudinal development of low-latitude ionospheric irregularities during the geomagnetic storms of July 2004

Guozhu Li, Baiqi Ning, Lianhuan Hu, Libo Liu, Xinan Yue, Weixing Wan, Biqiang Zhao, K. Igarashi, Minoru Kubota, Yuichi Otsuka, J. S. Xu, J. Y. Liu

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Abstract

During the period 22-28 July 2004, three geomagnetic storms occurred due to a sequence of coronal mass ejections. In this paper we present and discuss the ionospheric observations from a set of in situ satellites and ground-based GPS total electron content and scintillation receivers, a VHF radar, and two chains of ionosondes (∼300°E and ∼120°E, respectively) that provide the evolutionary characteristics of equatorial and low-latitude ionospheric irregularities versus longitude during these storm periods. It is found that the irregularities occurred over a wide longitudinal range, extending from around 300°E to 120°E on storm days 25 and 27 July 2004. On 25 July plasma bubbles (PBs) began premidnight in America and postmidnight in Southeast Asia. On 27 July the occurrence of irregularities followed the sunset terminator and was observed sequentially after sunset from American to Southeast Asian longitudes. Past studies have reported that storm-time low-latitude ionospheric irregularities are mostly confined to a narrower longitude range, <90°, after sunset hours and are associated with the prompt penetration of eastward electric fields (PPEFs) into low latitudes. In June solstice months the occurrence of range-type spread F or PBs is very low in Southeast Asian and South American sectors. In contrast, the present results indicate that geomagnetic storms triggered the wide longitudinal development of PBs. In the American sector this was probably due to the effects of PPEFs on both storm days. However, in the Southeast Asian sector the PBs on the 2 days probably arose from disturbance dynamo electric field (DDEF), PPEF, and gravity wave seeding effects. This study further shows that under complex storm conditions, besides the long duration or multiple penetrations, the combined effects of PPEFs and DDEFs could result in a wide longitude extent of ionospheric irregularities at times.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA04304
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume115
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

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