Global UltraViolet Imager

Hemispheric Asymmetries in the Mid-latitude Ionosphere During the September 7–8, 2017 Storm: Multi-instrument Observations

Hemispheric asymmetries of the Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC) were observed during the first recovery phase of the geomagnetic storm on September 7–8, 2017. These asymmetries occurred at the mid latitudes at two different local times simultaneously: In the European-African sector (early morning), the storm time VTEC in the southern/northern hemisphere was higher/lower than the quiet time value, suggesting the southern/northern hemisphere entered the positive/negative phase (N−S+). In the East Asian-Australian sector (afternoon), the storm time VTEC change was positive in the northern hemisphere, but negative in the southern hemisphere (N+S−). The electron density profiles from digisondes demonstrated that the asymmetries appeared in the F region density as well. The plasma drifts data from digisondes, the column-integrated [O]/[N2] ratio from GUVI onboard the TIMED satellite, and the detrended VTEC were utilized to study the drivers of the asymmetries. Traveling Ionospheric Disturbance (TID) signatures were identified in the digisonde drift and detrended VTEC data before the appearance of the asymmetry. The magnitude of TIDs was larger in the hemisphere where the negative phase occurred later. The storm time [O]/[N2] ratio change was positive in Africa (S+) and negative in Europe (N−). However, the [O]/[N2] measurements were not available in the East Asian-Australian sector during the focused period. The hemispheric differences in the vertical drifts were also observed in both sectors. Therefore, the observed hemispheric asymmetries in both sectors are suggested to be due to the hemispheric asymmetries in the thermospheric composition change, vertical drift, and TID activity.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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