Uncovering the Drivers of Responsive Ionospheric Dynamics to Severe Space Weather Conditions: A Coordinated Multi-Instrumental Approach

Andrés Calabia, Nadia Imtiaz, David Altadill, Yury Yasyukevich, Antoni Segarra, Fabricio S. Prol, Binod Adhikari, Luis del Peral, Maria Dolores Rodriguez Frias, Iñigo Molina

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Space-weather conditions can often have a detrimental impact on satellite communications and limited experimental data has made it challenging to understand the complex processes that occur in the upper atmosphere. To overcome this challenge, we utilized a coordinated multi-instrumental dataset consisting of GNSS airglow remote sensing, ionosonde, magnetometer, and in-situ satellite data to investigate plasma depletions. We present a case study focused on the geomagnetic storm that occurred on 27 February 2014. During the storm, GNSS positioning errors exceeded undisturbed levels by at least 2 times, and ionospheric corrections reached amplitudes of up to ±20 m at the Rabat station. We identified 3 large depletions that were most likely generated by sudden vertical ionospheric drifts that began at approximately 17:00 UTC at sunset in Morocco and the southern regions of Spain. These drifts reached ∼500 m/s and lasted until 22:00 UTC. The observed depletions propagated to the northeast, as seen through ionosonde echoes and ground-based airglow images. Satellite limb-images revealed an ionospheric uplift of about 100 km due to the storm, consistent with ionosondes in Spain. The observed local anomalies may be influenced by variations in equatorial electric current flows, which are correlated with fluctuations in ground-based magnetometer data. These variations are likely a result of the effects of the inner radiation belt on the development of plasma bubbles in the African longitude sector. Sudden enhancements in upward E × B drift caused ionospheric uplift to higher altitudes, enhancing the “fountain effect” and shifting the Equatorial Ionospheric Anomaly crests to higher latitudes.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’articlee2023JA031862
RevistaJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de març 2024


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