Features of the Ionospheric Storm on December 21–24, 2016

The purpose of this work is to investigate the response of the F region and topside ionosphere to the moderate geomagnetic storm on December 21, 2016 (Kp max = 6). The subject of the study is the height–time variations in the parameters of the ionospheric plasma over Kharkiv. Experimental data were obtained using vertical sounding and incoherent scatter methods by the ionosonde and incoherent scatter radar. The presented results are based on the correlation analysis of the incoherent scattered signal. The ion and electron temperatures, as well as the ionospheric plasma velocity, were determined from a set of measured correlation functions of the incoherently scattered signal. The electron density was calculated using the following parameters measured for a number of ionospheric heights: power of the incoherent scatter signal, ion and electron temperatures, and the electron density at the ionospheric F2 layer peak, which is calculated from the critical frequency measured by the ionosonde. The moderate geomagnetic storm was accompanied by an ionospheric storm over Kharkiv with sign-variable phases (first positive and second negative). The peak increase in the electron density was 1.8 times and decrease was 3.4 times. The negative phase was accompanied by a slight rise of the F2 layer (by 20–28 km), which could be due to a decrease in the vertical component of the plasma velocity and an increase in the electron temperature by 600–800 K and ion temperature by 100–160 K. Effects of strong negative ionospheric disturbances were registered during the subsequent magnetospheric disturbance of December 22–24, 2016, with a decrease in electron density at the F2 layer peak up to 2.5–4.9 times. The effects of negative disturbances manifested themselves in the variations of temperatures of electrons and ions. In general, the moderate magnetic storm caused significant changes in the electron density in the ionospheric F2 layer peak, which were accompanied by heating of the ionospheric plasma as well as changes in variations of the vertical component of the ionospheric plasma velocity and the height of ionization during the main phase of the magnetic storm.
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Kinematics and Physics of Celestial Bodies
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