Effects of strong IMF Bz southward events on the equatorial and mid-latitude ionosphere
- Department of Natural History sciences, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, N10 W8, Sapporo, 060-0810, Japan
- on leave from: Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics SB RAS, 126 Lermontov street, P.O. Box 291, Irkutsk, 664033, Russia
Abstract. Dayside ionospheric response to five intense geomagnetic storms (Dst<−120 nT) that occurred in 2001–2005 was investigated by use of simultaneous TEC measurements by the CHAMP, SAC-C, TOPEX/Jason-1 satellites. Since the satellites passed over different longitudinal sectors and measured TEC in different range of altitudes, it was possible to obtain information about altitudinal and longitudinal ionosphere redistribution during these storms. Severe enhancements (up to ~350%) of the equatorial and mid-latitude TEC above ~430 km with concurrent traveling of the equatorial anomaly crests for a distance of 10–15° of latitude were observed during two of the five events analyzed here (6 November 2001 and 8 November 2004). This phenomenon, known as the dayside ionosphere uplift, or the "daytime super-fountain effect", occurred after sudden drop in IMF Bz and consequent penetration of the electric fields to the low-latitude ionosphere. However, the same order Bz negative events caused comparatively weak changes in the dayside TEC (up to ~80 TECU) during the other three events of 18 June 2003, 11 February 2004 and 24 August 2005. At the main phase of these storms there were mostly observed formation of the "typical" dual peak structure of the equatorial anomaly rather than the reinforcement of the fountain effect and the anomaly itself. Possible reasons and factors responsible for the development of the extreme ionosphere effects are discussed in the paper.