Similarity and differences in morphology and mechanisms of the foF2 and TEC disturbances during the geomagnetic storms on 26–30 September 2011
- 1West Department of Pushkov IZMIRAN, RAS, Kaliningrad, Russia
- 2Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad, Russia
- 3Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, SB RAS, Irkutsk, Russia
- 4University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
Abstract. This study presents an analysis of the ground-based observations and model simulations of ionospheric electron density disturbances at three longitudinal sectors (eastern European, Siberian and American) during geomagnetic storms that occurred on 26–30 September 2011. We use the Global Self-consistent Model of the Thermosphere, Ionosphere and Protonosphere (GSM TIP) to reveal the main mechanisms influencing the storm-time behavior of the total electron content (TEC) and the ionospheric F2 peak critical frequency (foF2) during different phases of geomagnetic storms. During the storm's main phase the long-lasting positive disturbances in TEC and foF2 at sunlit mid-latitudes are mainly explained by the storm-time equatorward neutral wind. The effects of eastward electric field can only explain the positive ionospheric storm in the first few hours of the initial storm phase. During the main phase the ionosphere was more changeable than the plasmasphere. The positive disturbances in the electron content at the plasmaspheric heights (800–20 000 km) at high latitudes can appear simultaneously with the negative disturbances in TEC and foF2. The daytime positive disturbances in foF2 and TEC occurred at middle and low latitudes and at the Equator due to n(O) ∕ n(N2) enhancement during later stage of the main phase and during the recovery phase of the geomagnetic storm. The plasma tube diffusional depletion and negative disturbances in electron and neutral temperature were the main formation mechanisms of the simultaneous formation of the positive disturbances in foF2 and negative disturbances in TEC at low latitudes during the storm's recovery phase.