Response of the low- to mid-latitude ionosphere to the geomagnetic storm of September 2017


We study the impact of the geomagnetic storm of 7\textendash9\ September\ 2017 on the low- to mid-latitude ionosphere. The prominent feature of this solar event is the sequential occurrence of two SYM-H minima with values of -146 and -115 nT on 8\ September at 01:08 and 13:56 UT, respectively. The study is based on the analysis of data from the Global Positioning System (GPS) stations and magnetic observatories located at different longitudinal sectors corresponding to the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Americas during the period 4\textendash14\ September\ 2017. The GPS data are used to derive the global, regional and vertical total electron content (vTEC) in the four selected regions. It is observed that the storm-time response of the vTEC over the Asian and Pacific sectors is earlier than over the African and American sectors. Magnetic observatory data are used to illustrate the variation in the magnetic field particularly, in its horizontal component. The global thermospheric neutral density ratio; i.e., O/N2 maps obtained from the Global UltraViolet Spectrographic Imager (GUVI) on board the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite are used to characterize the storm-time response of the thermosphere. These maps exhibit a significant storm-time depletion of the O/N2 density ratio in the northern middle and lower latitudes over the western Pacific and American sectors as compared to the eastern Pacific, Asian and African sectors. However, the positive storm effects in the O/N2 ratio can be observed in the low latitudes and equatorial regions. It can be deduced that the storm-time thermospheric and ionospheric responses are correlated. Overall, the positive ionospheric storm effects appear over the dayside sectors which are associated with the ionospheric electric fields and the traveling atmospheric disturbances. It is inferred that a variety of space weather phenomena such as the coronal mass ejection, the high-speed solar wind stream and the solar radio flux are the cause of multiple day enhancements of the vTEC in the low- to mid-latitude ionosphere during the period 4\textendash14\ September\ 2017.

Year of Publication
Annales Geophysicae
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