Comparison of model electron densities and temperatures with Millstone Hill observations during undisturbed periods and the geomagnetic storms of 16−23 March and 6−12 April 1990
- 1Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio-Wave Propagation, Russia Academy of Science (IZMIRAN), Troitsk, Moscow Region, 142092, Russia
- 2Haystack Observatory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Westford, Mass., USA
Abstract. Measurements of F-region electron density and temperature at Millstone Hill are compared with results from the IZMIRAN time-dependent mathematical model of the Earth's ionosphere and plasmasphere during the periods 16–23 March and 6–12 April 1990. Each of these two periods included geomagnetically quiet intervals followed by major storms. Satisfactory agreement between the model and the data is obtained during the quiet intervals, provided that the recombination rate of O+(4S) ions was decreased by a factor of 1.5 at all altitudes during the nighttime periods 17–18 March, 19–20 March, 6–8 April and 8–9 April in order to increase the NmF2 at night better to match observations. Good model/data agreement is also obtained during the storm periods when vibrationally excited N2 brings about factor-of-2-4 reductions in daytime NmF2. Model calculations are carried out using different expressions for the O+ – O collision frequency for momentum transfer, and the best agreement between the electron-density measurements and the model results is obtained when the CEDAR interim standard formula for the O+ – O collision frequency is used. Deviations from the Boltzmann distribution for the ®rst ®ve vibrational levels of N2 collision frequency is used. Deviations from the Boltzmann distribution for the first five vibrational levels of j were calculated. The calculated distribution is highly non-Boltzmann at vibrational levels j > 2 and the Boltzmann distribution assumption results in the increase of 10–30% in calculated NmF2 during the storm-time periods. During the March storm at solar maximum the model results obtained using the EUVAC solar flux model agree a little better with the observations in comparison with the EUV94 solar flux model. For the April storm period of moderate solar activity the EUV94X model results agree better with the observations in comparison to the EUVAC model.