Oxygen ion uplift and satellite drag effects during the 30 October 2003 daytime superfountain event
Abstract. The prompt penetration of interplanetary electric fields (IEFs) to the dayside low-latitude ionosphere during the first ~2 h of a superstorm is estimated and applied to a modified NRL SAMI2 code for the 30 October 2003 event. In our simulations, the dayside ionospheric O+ is convected to higher altitudes (~600 km) and higher latitudes (~±25° to 30°), forming highly displaced equatorial ionospheric anomaly (EIA) peaks. This feature plus others are consistent with previously published CHAMP electron (TEC) measurements and with the dayside superfountain model. The rapid upward motion of the O+ ions causes neutral oxygen (O) uplift due to ion-neutral drag. It is estimated that above ~400 km altitude the O densities within the displaced EIAs can be increased substantially over quiet time values. The latter feature will cause increased drag for low-altitude satellites. This newly predicted phenomenon is expected to be typical for superstorm/IEF events.