Solar flares and geomagnetic storms of September 2017: Their impacts on the TEC over 75°E longitude sector

This study investigates the ionospheric Total Electron Content (TEC) responses over 75°E longitude to the solar flares and geomagnetic storms of September 6–9, 2017. The results of this study provide the impacts of solely solar flares on the ionosphere and such impact when the effects of solar flares and geomagnetic storm are combined. On September 6, two X class solar flares, namely X2.2 at 0857 UT and X9.3 at 1153 UT, were recorded with quiet geomagnetic conditions. The EUV/X-ray intensity of X9.3 flare was significantly greater than that of X2.2 flare, and the recovery phase of both the flares was slower than their respective impulsive phase. The slower recovery rate in EUV/X-ray intensity is reflected as a delayed TEC response. A nearly 8\% higher crest to trough TEC change on flare day than the pre-flare day suggests an enhanced level of the equatorial electrojet. The overall weak TEC response to X9.3 solar flare is attributed to solar zenith angle dependency and shifting of solar flare location from disk center to west limb. The solar flares on September 7–8 were co-occurred with geomagnetic storms and observed large increments in TEC are additionally induced by prompt penetration electric field and the enhanced level of thermospheric compositional changes. On September 9, an increase in TEC is observed during M class solar flares under effect of solar flares and disturbed dynamo electric field.
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Advances in Space Research
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