Global UltraViolet Imager

Reversed ionospheric convections during the November 2004 storm: Impact on the upper atmosphere

Using the Assimilative Mapping of Ionospheric Electrodynamics (AMIE) procedure, a particular period (2000–2350 UT on 9 November) in the November 2004 storm is studied. During this time interval, IMF Bz was strongly northward along with a high solar wind dynamic pressure, favorable conditions to form reversed convection in the polar region. Indeed, the AMIE outputs show strong reversed convection cells in both hemispheres for a long period (>1 h), which have rarely been observed. The impact on the thermospheric neutral wind has been investigated using the AMIE outputs as the electrodynamic inputs of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Thermosphere Ionosphere Electrodynamics General Circulation Model. After the ionospheric convection reversed, the neutral wind distribution at 400 km altitude changed correspondingly, and the difference wind patterns reversed in the polar cap region. By comparing the temporal variations of the difference ion convection and the difference neutral wind, it is found that horizontal neutral winds respond to the reversed convection with some time delay. The neutral wind response time (e-folding time) clearly has an altitudinal dependence varying from 45 min at 400 km altitude to almost 1.5 h at 200 km. The vertical component vorticity has a similar magnitude and distribution to previous studies in the northward Bz condition and changes the sign when the convection pattern is reversed. Comparison between the CHAMP observed cross-track wind and the simulated neutral wind exhibits a general agreement, and the temporal variations of CHAMP cross-track wind indicate a strong effect of the ion drag force on neutral winds.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics