Role of the magnetospheric and ionospheric currents in the generation of the equatorial scintillations during geomagnetic storms
- Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere, and Radio Wave Propagation, Russian Academy of Sciences (IZMIRAN), Troitsk, Moscow Region, 142190, Russia
Abstract. The equatorial ionosphere parameters, Kp, Dst, AU and AL indices characterized contribution of different magnetospheric and ionospheric currents to the H-component of geomagnetic field are examined to test the geomagnetic activity effect on the generation of ionospheric irregularities producing VLF scintillations. According to the results of the current statistical studies, one can predict near 70% of scintillations from Aarons' criteria using the Dst index, which mainly depicts the magnetospheric ring current field. To amplify Aarons' criteria or to propose new criteria for predicting scintillation characteristics is the question. In the present phase of the experimental investigations of electron density irregularities in the ionosphere new ways are opened up because observations in the interaction between the solar wind - magnetosphere - ionosphere during magnetic storms have progressed greatly. According to present view, the intensity of the electric fields and currents at the polar regions, as well as the magnetospheric ring current intensity, are strongly dependent on the variations of the interplanetary magnetic field. The magnetospheric ring current cannot directly penetrate the equatorial ionosphere and because of this difficulties emerge in explaining its relation to scintillation activity. On the other hand, the equatorial scintillations can be observed in the absence of the magnetospheric ring current. It is shown that in addition to Aarons' criteria for the prediction of the ionospheric scintillations, models can be used to explain the relationship between the equatorial ionospheric parameters, h'F, foF2, and the equatorial geomagnetic variations with the polar ionosphere currents and the solar wind.