Positive and negative ionospheric responses to the March 2015 geomagnetic storm from BDS observations

<p>The most intense geomagnetic storm in solar cycle 24 occurred on March 17, 2015, and the detailed ionospheric storm morphologies are difficultly obtained from traditional observations. In this paper, the Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) observations of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) are for the first time used to investigate the ionospheric responses to the geomagnetic storm. Using BDS GEO and GIMs TEC series, negative and positive responses to the March 2015 storm are found at local and global scales. During the main phase, positive ionospheric storm is the main response to the geomagnetic storm, while in the recovery phase, negative phases are pronounced at all latitudes. Maximum amplitudes of negative and positive phases appear in the afternoon and post-dusk sectors during both main and recovery phases. Furthermore, dual-peak positive phases in main phase and repeated negative phase during the recovery are found from BDS GEO observations. The geomagnetic latitudes corresponding to the maximum disturbances during the main and recovery phases show large differences, but they are quasi-symmetrical between southern and northern hemispheres. No clear zonal propagation of traveling ionospheric disturbances is detected in the GNSS TEC disturbances at high and low latitudes. The thermospheric composition variations could be the dominant source of the observed ionospheric storm effect from GUVI [O]/[N2] ratio data as well as storm-time electric fields. Our study demonstrates that the BDS (especially the GEO) observations are an important data source to observe ionospheric responses to the geomagnetic storm.</p>
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Journal of Geodesy
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